Lithuanians living abroad should take politicians’ opinion on the legitimization of double nationality into consideration during the Seimas election suggests the chairwoman of the board of Lithuanian World Community Regina Narušienė, delfi.lt wrote on 9 August.
‘There are 10 pages of material on the adoption of the Nationality Law. It is shown how every member of the Seimas voted on this law and its veto. You will see who supports us and bear this in mind when you vote in the elections.’ spoke R. Narušienė at the Seimas session of the Lithuanian World Community.
The Seimas elections are held on the fourteenth of October.
She deplored the fact that the Nationality Law, which was in the interest of a large part of Lithuanians abroad, while adopted by the Seimas in 2010 was vetoed by the President Dalia Grybauskaitė and that the parliament lacked initiative to refuse that veto.
‘The new Seimas will need to amend that law’ expects the chairman of the LWC.
She declared that to solve the problem of the double nationality it is not necessary to amend the Constitution as changing the Nationality Law would be sufficient.
R.Narušienė presented her own example of the correction to the law, which would please most of the emigrants. She suggests allowing people to keep Lithuanian nationality if one of their great-grandparents was born within the territory of Lithuania before the fifteenth of June 1940.
In the autumn of 2006, the Constitutional Court declared that according to the Constitution double nationality should only be a rare exception. This changed the norms that allowed double nationality more freely into ones that contradicted the main law of the state.
In accordance with the current Nationality Law, double nationality is allowed for those who left Lithuania previous to the re-establishment of the state of Lithuania in 1990, as well as those who received the nationality automatically (by birth or through marriage). However, by the age of 18 those who hold dual citizenship have to decide within three years time which one of the nationalities to choose. Double nationality is not allowed for those who have left Lithuania on their own will after the eleventh of March 1990 and obtained the citizenship of another state.
The Seimas adopted a change to the Nationality Law, which allowed emigrants who obtained citizenship of countries of EU or NATO, but the President D. Grybauskaitė vetoed the change stating that it contradicts the Constitution.
The Constitution of Lithuania states that no person can be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and another country at the same time except certain individual cases allowed by the law.
This provision is written in the first section of the Constitution which can only be changed by a referendum.