Dual citizenship referendum in Lithuania might cost EUR 1.8-2.5 mln

The electoral watchdog has presented its calculations to a special parliamentary panel responsible for the organization of the referendum.

Since it’s still unknown how many days the referendum will be held and how many hours will be allocated for voting, five different cost scenarios were drawn up.

The lowest costs of 1.5 million euros would be incurred, if the referendum was held on two early voting days and on one Sunday together with a presidential election as in that case election commission would not have to work longer.

And around 2.45 million euros would be needed, if the referendum was held on five early voting days and on one Sunday with a voting extension of two hours.

“The majority of these costs would cover salaries for commission members, social insurance contributions and other costs of election commissions,” Arvydas Nekrošius, head of the parliamentary referendum panel.

Lithuania plans to hold a dual citizenship referendum together with a presidential election next May.

Currently, people who left Lithuania after it regained independence in 1990 cannot hold dual citizenship, apart from a few exceptions. That provision can only be amended by referendum.

The Constitutional Court has ruled that dual citizenship cannot be a common phenomenon and granting it to people who left Lithuania after it restored independence would run counter to the Constitution.

The parliamentary panel on dual citizenship referendum in Lithuania earlier proposed including Euro-Atlantic safeguards to be enshrined in the country’s Constitution.

In that case the Constitution would state that a Lithuanian citizen by descent would not lose his/hers Lithuanian citizenship when assuming citizenship of a country chosen by Lithuania and matching European and transatlantic integration criteria.

In other cases a Lithuanian citizen could not also be a citizen of a foreign country, except for exceptions provided for by the constitutional law.

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