Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili can no longer call himself a Georgian citizen.
Today the country’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili signed a decree to annul the Georgian citizenship of the former president.
The decision to deprive Saakashvili of his Georgian citizenship came after he received Ukrainian citizenship several months ago. Saakashvili has lived in Ukraine for several years and now served as Odessa regional Governor.
Georgian laws prevented citizens from holding dual citizenship unless in special cases however this did not apply to Saakashvili.
Georgia’s Ministry of Justice released a statement on October 30 that announced it had launched action to revoke Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship.
Despite the fact Saakashvili was appointed as Odessa Governor on May 30, 2015 the Georgian side did not receive official confirmation about Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship until October 28, which was when action began.
Following this lead, on November 13 current President Giorgi Margvelahsvili said he would annul Saakahsvili’s Georgian citizenship.
The only person who can grant or approve dual citizenship in Georgia is the country’s President.
If a person wanted to have a dual citizenship he/she has a right to address the President and provide a worthy reason and supporting documents as to why he/she should have dual citizenship. In these cases the President will decide to grant or deny the person dual citizenship.
Saakashvili fled Georgia when his presidential term expired in 2013. He moved to Ukraine and decided to continue his political career there. Initially Saakashvili said he would not give up his Georgian citizenship in any instance.
On May 30, 2015 Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili as head of Odessa region in southwestern Ukraine. One day earlier Ukrainian media reported Poroshenko had granted Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship on May 29.
On a different note, Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia for his alleged role in various crimes. In July 2014 the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia filed criminal charges against Saakashvili for abuse of power, largely for his handling of political protests that turned violent in November 2007.