Rules on dual citizenship to be reviewed

  • 2007-08-08
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS, Aug 06, BNS 's Following hot on the heels of similar moves in Latvia, Lithuania also looks likely to address the issue of dual citizenship.

In the opinion of President Valdas Adamkus, today one of the most important tasks the country is facing is to help preserve citizenship for Lithuanian nationals residing abroad.

"At the time the Constitution was written, tighter requirements for citizenship were needed. But life makes its own amendments to many things. And so we too can modify our rules," Adamkus said Aug 6.

"I think we have enough qualified lawyers who must take immediate actions to address this matter," the president added.

In the meantime, Chairman of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Kuris said that rules regarding citizenship are fixed in the country's constitution and can only be modified by holding a referendum.

The constitution provides that "Lithuanian citizenship is acquired at birth and in other cases the law provides. Other than in individual cases as provided by the law, no one can be a citizen of Lithuania… and another state."

A month ago Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said that Lithuania was looking into the possibility of legalizing dual citizenship without a referendum, amid fears that a low turn-out could invalidate the results.

Last November, the Constitutional Court explained that the number of people eligible for dual citizenship had to be cut down, as such citizenship is becoming a widespread phenomenon rather than the extremely rare exception the law states it should be.

Polls suggest that most Lithuanians are in favor of dual citizenship in principle.