New bill on dual citizenship being drafted ahead of planned referendum

DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

“The main goal is to expand the possibility for natural-born Lithuanian citizens to retain the citizenship when they become citizens of another country,” says Deputy Justice Minister Julius Pagojus who will head the group.

He says the bill should be drafted before the planned referendum in October.

Under the current legislations, Lithuanian nationals are not allowed to hold dual citizenship, although limited exceptions apply. The Constitutional Court has ruled that changing the law requires a referendum to amend the Constitution.

The Liberal Movement, an opposition party, has suggested holding the referendum alongside general elections this October, but the final decision will have to be made by parliament.

A parliamentary commission has suggested the following wording to be put on the ballot: “Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who acquired citizenship by birth can, under terms specified in a constitutional law, be citizens of another country at the same time. Other persons can be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and another state only in cases specified in the constitutional law.”

The task group led by Pagojus will be charged with working out these terms, he says.

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