Tbilisi Court of Appeals upheld on September 10 a lower court’s ruling confirming a decision by the Central Election Commission’s acting chairperson refusing former foreign minister Salome Zourabichvili in registration as a presidential candidate for the October 27 election on the grounds of dual citizenship.
The Georgian constitution bans dual nationals from holding president’s office.
But Zourabichvili, who holds French and Georgian citizenship, has argued that although constitution bans her from taking the president’s office, the provision does not bar dual nationals from running in election as a candidate. She said she was intending to renounce her French citizenship in case of winning in the election.
“Today’s decision is a shame not only of the court, but for the entire state,” Zourabichvili said.
Like Zourabichvili two others were also denied by the CEC because of dual citizenship to proceed further with the procedures required for a candidate to be registered.
But unlike these three persons, one would-be candidate, Zurab Tsitsuashvili, who also holds dual citizenship, was given green light by the CEC to proceed with further procedures, including collection of signatures of at least 26,530 citizens. Tsitsuashvili, who is among dozens of little-known persons who have applied to CEC to run for the president, said that he too holds dual citizenship – the U.S. and Georgian, but despite of that he was allowed by the CEC to collect citizens’ signatures.
CEC spokesperson, Eka Azarashvili, told Civil.ge on September 10 that CEC was not aware about Tsitsuashvili’s dual citizenship as there was no word about it in papers submitted by the applicant to the CEC. But after Tsitsuashvili announced about his dual citizenship publicly the CEC will check it with relevant authorities and review the applicant’s eligibility, she added.