TBILISI, February 5 (Itar-Tass) – Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said on Tuesday he had suspended “the procedure of denial of France’s citizenship and taking out Georgia’s citizenship.”
Addressing a news conference in Tbilisi, he said he was not going “to accept Georgia’s citizenship.” “I was offered Georgian citizenship on condition that I should surrender my French citizenship, but I have suspended this process at this stage,” he said. Under the Georgian constitution, he noted, a person with double citizenship cannot be the country’s prime minister, although the post may be occupied by a citizen of any European country.
“As soon as I am granted Georgia’s citizenship, i.e. I become a holder of passports of two countries, I will no longer be allowed to occupy the position of prime minister,” Ivanishvili said. According to the prime minister, the new government plans to amend the country’s constitution to settle such issues.
On October 16, 2012, Geprgian President Mikhail Saakashvili signed a decree granting Georgian citizenship to Ivanishvili. “The decree will come into force after Ivanishvili relinquishes the French citizenship,” the presidential press secretary then said.