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Georgian emigrants demand change in regulations

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, November 26
226 Georgian emigrants living abroad in different countries appealed to the current Georgian government to introduce several amendments in the legislation that concerns Georgian citizenship. They demand the abolishment of the article that envisages depriving banning Georgian citizenship if a Georgian has dual citizenship. The appeal was released by former Georgia’s Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili.

The emigrants admit that Georgians and foreigners who want to get dual citizenship have to undergo the same procedures.

The people stress that despite living abroad, which was spurred on mainly because of economic hardship, they are profoundly linked with their home country.

“Unfortunately, no government has ever thought about creating special regulations for Georgians living abroad. There are no rules that would have ensured the people’s active involvement in the country’s issues and increased chances for our return,” the statement reads.

The emigrants stress that even from the economic point of view, Georgia will benefit if emigrates have more access to the country.

Responding to the appeal, Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani stated that the demand will not be met.

She stressed that such changes require a constitutional majority in parliament which the Georgian Dream coalition lacks.

The Justice Minister appealed to immigrants to use the president’s service and ask for dual citizenship through this means.

The same statement was made by majority MP Manana Kobakhidze, who stated that the current government is not violating any constitutional norms, while the opposition United National Movement members shed light on artificial barriers.

MP Giorgi Kandelaki states that the issue should be studied and said that Georgians living abroad should have an opportunity to receive dual citizenship easily.

Changes in the current constitution were made under the previous government. The rule when a Georgian lost his Georgian citizenship if he had the citizenship of some other country was used regarding the founder of the Georgian Dream coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili, when the latter faced problems participating in elections because of his French citizenship.