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Lithuania Constitutional Court

Constitutional Court of Lithuania: Reduced chances of successful dual citizenship referendum

February 19, 2019

The Constitutional Court’s ruling reduced chances of successful dual citizenship referendum in Lithuania

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA – February 15, 2019

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that a referendum to change an article of Lithuania’s constitution cannot be held on two separate days. This decision reduced the chances of adopting the necessary constitutional amendment to allow Lithuanian dual citizenship for more people.

For the dual citizenship referendum to happen, the greater part of qualified voters, or around 1.3 million individuals, need to cast a vote in support for it.

Most analysts agree that the majority of the voters would vote in favour of allowing dual Lithuanian citizenship for more people. However, the main concern of the proponents of the referendum is that it might be considered invalid, because of an insufficient number of votes. The Seimas tried to increase the chances of a successful referendum by allowing voters to vote on two separate days together with presidential elections in May.

Viktoras Pranckietis, the Lithuanian Seimas Speaker says to BNS Lithuania that: “I believe it reduces the chances of that referendum taking place as the requirements are very high”

In his own words, it is essential to encourage voters to come, cast a vote, and to explain why it is important.

“We are now in a situation where we no longer can do anything as we have used our all resources,” said the parliamentary speaker.

Pranckietis trusts that the dual citizenship referendum should happen on May 12, side by side with the first round of casting a ballot in the presidential election.

The Seimas of Lithuania will have to adopt a new resolution regarding the referendum.

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