Former Prime Minister gets back Georgian citizenship

Former Prime Minister gets back Georgian citizenship

PanARMENIAN.Net - Georgia’s top court has ruled to restore the citizenship of former Prime Minister and billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili more than two years after it was revoked by presidential decree, according to RIA Novosti.

The Supreme Court of the former Soviet state said in a statement late Monday that it had decided to cancel a 2011 decree issued by then-President Mikheil Saakashvili that stripped his political rival Ivanishvili of Georgian citizenship.

Ivanishvili, 57, who founded and formerly headed the Georgian Dream coalition, was originally granted Georgian citizenship in 2004 – in addition to his existing Russian citizenship – but it was revoked after he received a French passport in 2010.

Georgia allows dual citizenship, but Ivanishvili was stripped of his Georgian citizenship on the grounds that he could be a citizen of three countries.

The tycoon gave up his Russian citizenship in the run-up to the 2012 parliamentary election. He also tried to renounce his French citizenship, but the French authorities said he had to become a Georgian citizen first in order to avoid ending up stateless. After the court's ruling, he now holds dual Georgian-French citizenship.

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