MPs to turn to Constitutional Court over broader dual citizenship

Lithuanian passport
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The resolution was supported for discussion by 81 of Lithuania’s 141 lawmakers, with no votes against and one abstention. The document will now proceed to parliamentary committees.

The address to the Constitutional Court was initiated by the parliament’s Committee for Legal Affairs, asking the court to explain the 2006 finding, which suggested that cases of dual citizenship could be rare and exceptional rather than a common phenomenon.

In 2013, the court already gave its conclusion on the resolution by ruling that, without revision of the Constitution, regulation cannot be established by law to allow dual citizenship for those who fled Lithuania after the country regained independence on March 11 of 1990.

Julius Sabatauskas, chairman of the Committee for Legal Affairs who presented the draft address, did not rule out that the court could revise its doctrine.

In the new address, the Constitutional Court is asked whether the Constitutional provision that “with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time” could be interpreted otherwise than the 2006 resolution in light of the new circumstances.

The court is asked to reply whether the parliament can stipulate legal regulation in the Citizenship Law, without changing the country’s Organic Law, to allow two passports – of Lithuania and another European Union or NATO country – for those who emigrated after 1990.

Some 114 Lithuanian parliamentarians have signed the draft amendments to the Law on Citizenship , which would allow people who left the country after March 11, 1990 and acquired citizenship of any other EU or NATO member state to preserve their Lithuanian citizenship . Among those who proposed the bill were Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and elders of all political groups. The amendments to the Citizenship Law are in line with the Constitution.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė has said in comment of the amendments that they were in clear violation of the main law, urging parliamentarians “not to bulldoze over the Constitution.”

Meanwhile, the authors believe that the Constitutional Court should assess the amendments after adoption, with the possibility of changing the doctrine.

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