An umbrella group campaigning on election-related issues has slammed a proposal to amend constitution to allow a billionaire opposition politician, Bidzina Ivanishvili, to run in elections without becoming a Georgian citizen.
The group campaigning under the name, This Affects You Too, said in a statement on April 10 it was unacceptable “to tailor” the constitution “on certain circumstances and individuals”.
After Ivanishvili, who is the French citizen, was refused in citizenship through naturalization, Christian-Democratic Movement, a leading party in small parliamentary minority group, proposed a constitutional amendment, supported by the ruling party, to grant a Georgian-born EU citizen, who has lived at least ten years in Georgia, political rights, including the right to be elected as lawmakers, as President or the right to become PM.
“Granting the right to be elected in the Parliament, as well as other political rights to a non-Georgian citizen is unacceptable for us,” the campaign group This Affects You Too said in the statement. “Only citizens of Georgia should enjoy with the right to take political decisions vitally important for the country. Approval of proposed amendment will pose a threat to Georgia’s sovereignty, because it will result in interference of foreign nationals in Georgia’s internal affairs. Because of this argument, foreign nationals are banned from financing political parties” in Georgia.
It also says that such constitutional amendments devalue the constitution itself, which “will have extremely negative effect on rule of law in the country.”
“We call on each and every member of the Parliament to respect Georgia’s constitution and the country’s sovereignty and reject this erroneous initiative and not to use MP’s credentials for solving artificial problems through unjustified way,” the statement reads.