Lithuanian president: citizenship referendum could be held if circumstances change

  • 2019-05-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – A new referendum on expanding dual citizenship could be held after a change in circumstances, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite believes, adding that a second such vote could not be held soon since the public has already expressed its will.

"It (a second referendum – BNS Lithuania) cannot be held soon as the public has had its say. I believe it might be repeated later, with no doubt, under different circumstances," the head of state told journalists in Vilnius on Friday.

Held on May 12, the dual citizenship referendum lacked slightly fewer than 300,000 votes for dual citizenship to be expanded. Almost 74 percent of those who came to vote, or 956,500 of all eligible voters, backed the proposal to expand dual citizenship.

But for the Constitutional provision on citizenship to be amended, at least 1,236,203, or over a half of eligible voters, had to vote in favor.

In the dual citizenship referendum May 12, voters were asked to vote on whether or not to amend Article 12 of the Constitution to allow Lithuanian citizens by birth to keep their Lithuanian citizenship when they acquire the citizenship of another country meeting the "European and transatlantic integration criteria".

Now in Lithuania, those emigrated after Lithuania regained independence on March 11, 1990 cannot have dual citizenship, excluding rare exceptions.