TBILISI, DFWatch – A Georgian billionaire who wants to run in the election in fall may have to wait for a long time for his citizenship application.
Bidzina Ivanishvili lost his Georgian citizenship in October, four days after declaring that he wants to challenge Mikheil Saakashvili’s power.
He needs a citizenship in order to legally run a campaign and form a party, but lost a court case and now pursues a different course: applying directly to president Saakashvili.
But the president now has changed the rules, so that that kind of applications for citizenship have an unlimited response time.
This means that Mr Ivanishvili may not get an answer before the election, and may never get an answer, according to legal expert Vakhtang Khmaladze.
He thinks this is a violation of the principle of predictability; that a citizen should know when to expect an answer from authorities.
“When a person appeals to president with the request to grant citizenship, he should be able to know when he will receive a positive or negative answer. Possibly, the next step of this person is dependent on this answer,” Khmaladze says.
DFWatch tried, but did not succeed in getting a comment from the presiden’t administration.
Many see this as a politically motivated decision. Without a citizenship Mr Ivanishvili will not be able to legally run in this year’s parliamentary election.