The constitutional amendments, which allow leader of opposition coalition Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, to vote and be elected in October parliamentary elections without having Georgian citizenship, came into effect after President Saakashvili signed these amendments into law.
The amendments, which allow a Georgian-born citizen of EU-member state, who “has permanently lived in Georgia for last 5 years”, to run in October parliamentary elections and presidential election next year, were published by the state online registry of legal acts, Sakanonmdeblo Matsne on May 29.
A week earlier, on May 22, when the Parliament passed the amendments with third and final reading, Ivanishvili called on President Saakashvili to veto constitutional amendment, saying that he would not make use of this “absurd” amendment, and was instead ready to apply for a Georgian passport through a dual-citizenship procedure as recommended by the Civil Registry Agency in April.
The ruling party responded that with these constitutional amendments the authorities paved way for Ivanishvili to run in the elections and now it was completely up to him whether he would make use of this opportunity or not.
Ivanishvili said recently that even if he did not personally stand in the upcoming elections, it would not derail his Georgian Dream coalition’s plans to run in the October polls.