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HomeLithuaniaLithuania's 2nd dual citizenship referendum falls through

Lithuania’s 2nd dual citizenship referendum falls through

Lithuania’s second referendum on the expansion of dual citizenship failed on Sunday, just like the first attempt to amend the Constitution five years ago.

The latest figures from the Central Electoral Commission showed on Monday morning that 1,396,828 people, or 59 percent of all voters, participated in the referendum.

With almost all votes counted, 1,011,014, or 73.9 percent supported the amendment, but it was not enough to pass it.

More than 50 percent of all eligible voters had to vote in favor of the amendment for it to be adopted.

A total of 2,385,234 voters were eligible to vote in Sunday’s referendum, meaning that at least 1,192,617 “yes” votes were needed.

In the 2019 citizenship referendum, 956,564 people, or 38 percent of all voters, backed the proposed amendment, falling short of the threshold.

The initiators of Sunday’s plebiscite proposed to amend Article 12 of the Constitution by removing the clause preventing Lithuanian citizens from acquiring a second citizenship. It states that “with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time”.

Voters were asked whether or not to approve the following wording of the article: “Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be acquired by birth or on other grounds established by law. The procedure for the acquisition and loss of citizenship shall be established by law.”

Political analysts and members of the public criticized this wording, calling it incomprehensible.

Currently, people who left Lithuania after March 11, 1990 cannot hold dual citizenship, apart from a few exceptions.

The Constitutional Court has ruled that this provision can only be changed via a referendum.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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