After being refused in citizenship through naturalization, Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of opposition coalition Georgian Dream, will not seek regaining his Georgian passport through dual-citizenship process, his spokesperson Maia Panjikidze said on April 10.
The Civil Registry Agency of the Ministry of Justice said on April 4, that Ivanishvili was not eligible to obtain Georgian citizenship through naturalization process, which he was requesting since January 5; the agency said, Ivanishvili, as a French national, should instead seek regaining his Georgian passport through dual-citizenship process.
Maia Panjikidze said that the option on which the Ministry of Justice had pointed out was giving the President right to unilaterally decide whether to grant or not a citizenship. She said that it would be “illogical” to appeal for citizenship to the President, who has once already stripped Ivanishvili of his citizenship.
“The authorities were obliged by the law to grant citizenship to Bidzina Ivanishvili through naturalization and when Saakashvili refuses to observe the law, applying an option, in which President possesses discretion to make a decision, would have been a bit strange,” Panjikidze said.
She also said that the authorities decision to amend a constitution allowing Ivanishvili to run in elections without having a Georgian citizenship was “tailored” not on Ivanishvili, but on Saakashvili’s unwillingness to grant his political opponent the Georgian passport.
“He [Saakashvili] is forced to meet a strict demand from the international community and to restore Bidzina Ivanishvili’s right to run in elections of which he was illegally deprived… But Saakashvili’s maniacal-authoritarian manner of rule, according to which he is always right, does not allow him to restore Bidzina Ivanishvili’s citizenship of which he was illegally stripped off,” Panjikidze said.
She said that meeting these two tasks – granting Ivanishvili political rights on the one hand and refusing him in citizenship on the other - “is impossible within the legal framework.”
“But it’s possible to amend the law so that to fit it to the interests of a single man [Saakashvili] and that’s the reason why the constitution is being amended,” Panjikidze said.