President Saakashvili has granted Georgian citizenship to Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is set to become the new PM, President’s spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Ivanishvili was stripped of his Georgian citizenship few days after he announced about going into politics in early October, 2011. The authorities said at the time that Ivanishvili lost his Georgian citizenship after the Civil Registry Agency learned from Ivanishvili’s public statement that after receiving Georgian citizenship in 2004 he then also obtained the French citizenship. Ivanishvili tried to restore his citizenship through naturalization process, but was denied on procedural grounds.
Ivanishvili’s citizenship was restored by the President based on a provision of the law, which allows the Georgian President to grant citizenship if such a move originates from “the state interests”.
Restoring his Georgian citizenship means that Ivanishvili will now withdraw from the French citizenship; Ivanishvili launched procedures for withdrawal from the French citizenship in December.
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