TBILISI, DFWatch–A former Georgian government official who started a new career as head of Ukraine’s police force claims the government of her native country threatens to revoke her citizenship.
Khatia Dekanoidze was education minister during President Mikheil Saakashvili, but after the National Movement Party lost the election in 2012, she left her country as many other of her party fellows, and found a new position in Ukraine’s new government after the 2014 Kiev revolution.
The National Movement and the new governing Georgian Dream coalition are fierce enemies and frequently trade accusations of engaging in political ploys.
Dekanoidze told Ukrainian online newspaper LB.writes that the proceedings to halt her Georgian citizenship have been launched. She holds dual Georgian-Ukrainian citizenship.
“A few days ago, I found out that the proceedings have been launched to revoke my citizenship. I received the appropriate notice. According to Georgian legislation, a person who is engaged in politics abroad cannot be a citizen of Georgia. Let’s see what the arguments will be, but so far a decision hasn’t been made,” she told the Ukrainian outlet.
But Ukraine’s law on citizenship is less strict and allows Dekanoidze in theory to stay in her current position for two years with dual citizenship, LB.ua writes.
Dekanoidze was appointed chief of Ukraine’s National Police in November, 2015. She was Georgia’s education minister from July to October in 2012. Earlier, she worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili revoked ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s citizenship in December 2015. The reason was that Saakashvili, who is now governor of Odessa in Ukraine, became a citizen of Ukraine. Georgian legislation allows someone who has lost their citizenship to send a new application for dual citizenship. Such an application needs to be approved by the president.
Saakashvili became a citizen of Ukraine in May, 2015.
When the billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili first went into politics in the end of 2011, Saakashvili revoked the businessman’s Georgian citizenship because of the law which prohibits dual citizenship — the same law which the current government used against him.