A proposal for constitutional amendment, which will allow Bidzina Ivanishvili to run in elections without becoming a Georgian citizen, is “acceptable”, Parliamentary Chairman Davit Bakradze said.
The planned constitutional amendment has been designed specifically for Ivanishvili, who has been denied in Georgian citizenship through naturalization and who now remains the citizen of France.
According to the proposal a Georgian-born individual, who has lived in the country for at least ten years and who is now a citizen of EU-member state can have the right to run for the parliament or become PM.
“This [initiative] is absolutely acceptable for me, because I fully support any initiative that will help us in making the parliamentary elections competitive and which will also allow all those individuals and political forces, which have certain support or have an ambition to come into power,” Davit Bakradze, who is a ruling party member, told journalists on April 6.
“We are not afraid of competition and competitors; on the contrary, it is in our interests to develop democracy in Georgia and to make elections competitive and to have open political environment wherein everyone can have a chance to engage in political competition.”
“So personally for me this initiative is acceptable and I think, that this initiative will actually fully resolve the question related to citizenship and participation in politics of our opponent.”
“An initiative has been table, which removes all the restrictions and solves all the problems and any candidate in the opposition, regardless of citizenship, will be able to run in the elections, to be elected in the Parliament, to become parliamentary chairman, to become Prime Minister. I do not understand why they should have negative reaction to this [initiative],” Bakradze said.
The proposal to amend the constitution for Ivanishvili was voiced by Christian-Democratic Movement, a leading party in a small parliamentary minority group and supported by the ruling party.
Members from the Ivanishvili-led opposition coalition, Georgian Dream, said that it was “cynical” to tailor constitution to a particular individual and that Ivanishvili had all the legal rights to be granted the Georgian citizenship, so there was no need to amend the constitution to allow him to run for the parliament.