Parliament passed with its third and final reading on May 22 constitutional amendment, which will allow leader of opposition coalition Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, to vote and be elected in October parliamentary elections, as well as in next year’s presidential election without becoming a Georgian citizen.
President Saakashvili said on May 20, that with this constitutional amendment the Georgian authorities have "undermined plot to de-legitimize" the October parliamentary elections.
After French citizen Ivanishvili was refused in Georgian citizenship through naturalization and told by the authorities to seek regaining Georgian passport through a different procedure, in particular through applying for dual citizenship, a constitutional amendment was proposed allowing Ivanishvili to vote and be elected in Georgia without having Georgian citizenship.
According to the constitutional amendment, a Georgian-born citizen of EU-member state, who “has permanently lived in Georgia for last 5 years”, will be able to run in October parliamentary elections and presidential election next year. Ivanishvili says that such a constitutional amendment is "an absurd".
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