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2015.09.08 13:45

New leader of Lithuanian World Community cautions against hasty referendum on dual citizenship

Dalia Henke from Germany, who has been elected the new board chairman of the Lithuanian World Community, believes Lithuania should not rush to hold a referendum on dual citizenship, pointing to a lack of agreement on the issue among political parties.

Dalia Henke from Germany, who has been elected the new board chairman of the Lithuanian World Community, believes Lithuania should not rush to hold a referendum on dual citizenship, pointing to a lack of agreement on the issue among political parties.

If held now, such a referendum would fail, she says.

"If referendum is the only way, we have to carefully prepare for it, we shouldn’t hurry, and get Lithuanian institutions, the government, the Seimas involved, and spread the news among Lithuanians by all means as to what this referendum means, why it is held. I think we should, first of all, have agreement of all political parties on the matter, which, I think, we don’t have at the moment," Henke told BNS on Friday.

Currently dual citizenship is allowed only for Lithuanian citizens who left the country before Lithuania restored its independence in 1990 and their descendants, but those who emigrated after independence automatically lose their Lithuanian passport once they become naturalized citizens of another country.

Lithuania's Constitutional Court has explained that any amendments on dual citizenship would have to involve constitutional changes.

Lithuania's parliament is currently considering a proposal to call a referendum on dual citizenship alongside parliamentary elections in October 2016.

 

BNS