Moacir P. de Sá Pereira on February 18th, 2009

pasas2008It was probably obvious to everyone that when I wrote yesterday about news in the works, I was guaranteeing myself a post on the same topic again today. And so it has been: the workgroup created last year by president Valdas Adamkus has presented their recommendations to the Seimas about dual citizenship. (In English)

And, importantly, again the question of a referendum arises to change the LR Constitution. But I’ll get back to that.

Specifically, the project (in full legal transparency available here) calls for a new law regarding citizenship that would be less murky, and asks for an idea regarding the “lietuvio korta” by the end of the summer. The law would look like the sort of legal limbo we are in now. The president’s spokesperson said:

Noriu priminti, kad naujame projekte numatoma, jog visi Lietuvos piliečiai, kurie iš Lietuvos buvo ištremti ar išvyko nuo 1919 metų iki 1990 kovo 11 dienos, o taip pat kelių kartų jų palikuonys išlaiko Lietuvos pilietybę. Tie asmenys, kurie dėl įvairių priežasčių paliko Lietuvą po 1990 kovo 11 dienos ir pasirinko kitos šalies pilietybę, netenka Lietuvos pilietybės. Tačiau jų vaikai, gimę užsienyje, išlaiko teisę turėti dvigubą, t.y. Lietuvos ir kitos valstybės pilietybę

[I want to remind everyone that the new project forecasts that the possibility of maintaining Lithuanian citizenship is available to all Lithuanian citizens who were exiled or left Lithuania between 1919 and 11 March 1990, as well as their descendants. Those who left Lithuania after 11 March 1990 for whatever reason and have since taken another nation’s citizenship forfeit their Lithuanian citizenship. However, their foreign-born children keep the right of dual citizenship.]

Interestingly, the spokesperson, Rita Grumadaitė, does not distinguish between the “exiled from 1919–1990” population and the “left between 1940–1990,” which is an important distinction in the current law, which, if I understand correctly, does not grant dual citizenship to those who left (or fled, depending on context) Lithuania in advance of the Nazis or Soviets. And it’s a little unclear in the legal text, too.

The article goes further to explain that the Seimas is interested in hearing more from Lithuanians living abroad before figuring out the specific parameters of the law.

This is a fascinating development, because, unspoken or no, there are two different populations (effectively) that make up Lithuanians living abroad: those that currently qualify for dual citizenship and those that don’t. And now the Seimas is asking both populations to speak with a unified voice.

Think about that… I may just have to write a completely different post on that one topic!

The article I’ve linked to then returns to the idea of a referendum, explaining that although the president would support it, it’s probably too late to cobble together the language in time for the upcoming presidential elections. But the opinion is loudly expressed that the constitutional amendment is the only available option for the post 1990 wave of emigrants. No law of dual citizenship that fits the constitutional requirement of exceptional cases regarding dual citizenship will ever match the desires of the post 1990 wave.

I have, of course, been arguing that for over a year (as have others). Now it will be interesting to see if PLB takes the interests of all its constituents and fights for the broadest definition of dual citizenship possible.

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to “Referenda and Seimas activity”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Proving flight from Soviet-Occupied Lithuania

Leave a Reply