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In issue #167, 14/09/2007, AZG Armenian Daily reports, that the Prime-Minister Serge Sargsian has instructed to set up the schedule for adopting relevant legislation:
By the instructions of RA PM Serge Sargsian, the schedule for adopting relevant legislative order for applying for dual citizenship has been already set up. The procedure will last will first decade of the upcoming December. RA Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian assured. He added that the schedule includes 13 sub-legislative acts. The relevant amendments had been made to RA law “On Citizenship” that envisage the same rights, plenipotentiaries and exclusions for dual citizens as those granted to RA citizens and set by the international right.
Following yesterday’s announcement by PM Sargsian about state plans to implement a record – 2.5 billion budget, raise pensions and his sole domination of TV news reports, consistently noted and analyzed by Onnik Krikoryan at his new 2008 Presidential Election Monitor blog, this bit of news fits in nicely into the unofficial campaign by the PM for trying to please everyone, including the influential Armenian diaspora.
Looking from another point of view, I have to remember, that during the past elections there were claims by Nikol Pashinyan, one of the leaders of the Impeachment block, that the Government (meaning the Republican party), have issued thousands of brand new passports on the names of dead people and absentees, and have used mobile voting squads to vote using the stolen identities. No need to say, that dual citizenship creates exactly the same type of forgery possibilities.
The issue of dual citizenship, as well as that of absentee voting has been seen as a threat to the integrity of Armenian elections since 2005, when the draft of the new Constitution including such a provision, was being debated. The matter has been discussed at length in a number of earlier posts by Onnik Kriroryan in relation to 2007 Parliamentary Elections. And although I don’t think there will be a significant number of dual citizenships even if the process really starts on December 2007, the fact, that the plans are underway to set up the mechanism exactly two months before the election, and that the process is initiated by Serge Sargsyan, is somehow suspicious to me.