Do Lithuanians know what referendum in May will be about?

„The way I understand it, we will vote for certain changes in the Constitution. I don’t know much about the specific changes, though,“ said a young man after being asked about the referendum.

„I haven’t been reading more about it yet, but I do know that the referendum will concern the issue of dual citizenship. I’m definitely going to vote and I will get acquainted with the matter in greater detail,“ a young woman said.

In order for the citizens to have more information about the upcoming referendum, Marius Gurskas, head of the Government Communications Department, has offered to answer the most topical of questions. He has noticed that Lithuania was one of the few European countries where citizenship was lost by simply obtaining another country’s passport.

„This is provided for by Article 12 of the Republic of Lithuania Constitution and it basically constitutes that by obtaining another country’s citizenship you will not be able to retain the Lithuanian one. Every year, about 1000 people lose Lithuanian citizenship. The issue is very important and pertains to the future of our country,“ he noted.

Head of the Government Communications Department Marius Gurskas

According to Gurskas, language, territory, and residents are the main attributes of a state that make up its structure and allow functioning and ensuring the well-being of the people. For this reason, engaging and voting in referendums is an important and significant civic duty.

„The matter in question is relevant to Lithuania’s future because our joint decision will determine the number of Lithuanian citizens who will help create a welfare state,“ he said.

What will the ballot paper look like?

Before the referendum, Lithuanians should understand its importance and the voting procedure. The young people who talked to DELFI admitted that they had not done so, but ensured they knew where to look for all the relevant information.

„I understand that it is not a game or a fun pastime and that ignorance excuses not, I will search on the internet what the ballot paper will look like and how to mark it depending on your desired outcome. I just can’t seem to find the time to do it,“ he said.

„I do not know what the exact wording is but we will have to choose „For“ or „Against“, in terms of the amendment,“ the young woman claimed.

The 12th of May is getting close: do Lithuanians know what the referendum will be about?

She was partially right – during the referendum, two options will be presented.

„The exact wording of the matter in question is as follows: „The Republic of Lithuania citizenship shall be awarded at birth and in other cases, as per the Constitutional Law. The Constitutional Law shall also determine the grounds and procedures for the loss of the Republic of Lithuania citizenship.“ During the referendum, people will vote for or against the removal or the following sentence in Article 12 of said law „Except in separate cases provided for by the law, no one shall have citizenship of Lithuania and of another country at the same time“, in order to retain Lithuanian citizenship after acquiring another. Those in favor for the amendment, check the box YES, those against – NO,“ Gurskas explained.

If the amendment to Article 12 is passed, citizens of Lithuania will be able to retain their citizenship acquired at birth, after having acquired the citizenship of a country that is considered friendly to Lithuania.

The 12th of May is getting close: do Lithuanians know what the referendum will be about?

By the way, Lithuanians who reside or will be in another country on the day of the referendum have the right to vote. Gurskas hoped that the number of Lithuanians coming to vote would keep growing, especially on important matters like this one.

„Citizens of Lithuania who live abroad or will be abroad on the day of the referendum have to register on the website www.rinkejopuslapis.lt. They will be able to vote by mail or by visiting a diplomatic mission of the Republic of Lithuania,“ he explained.

Please note that all the relevant information about the referendum is available on the special referendum website: www.referendumas2024.lt. This referendum is the only opportunity to come to a decision regarding the retention of the Republic of Lithuania citizenship.

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