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Apsnypress news agency asked the Speaker of the Parliament Nugzar Ashuba to comment on the changes made to the law “About citizenship of the Republic of Abkhazia” last Friday, July 31.

Apsnypress: Does the amendment to the law “About citizenship of the Republic of Abkhazia” mean that all the inhabitants Gal district will obtain Abkhaz citizenship?

Nugzar Ashuba: In no circumstances. It means only those inhabitants of the Gal district who did not participate in military operations, did not second and do not second the change of the sovereign status of the Republic of Abkhazia by anticonstitutional methods; do not call for violent change of foundations of the constitutional system of the republic; did not struggle and do not struggle by anticonstitutional methods against the existing political system; are not connected with terrorist activity can be considered citizens of Abkhazia. And it is a question of people who had to leave repeatedly places of permanent residence, but according to the decision on unilateral return of refugees to the Gal district returned to their houses and now live there. They can receive the passport of the citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia.

There will be no public excitement because of receiving passports in the Gal district. The process is slow enough there. For today 2 thousand people out of 4 thousand who have submitted applications have received Abkhaz passports. Documents of the others are on approval. The State Security Service scrutinizes all the documents.

I want to specify once again that it is a question of issuing passports to the inhabitants of the Gal district who have returned before 2005. And they are no more than 50 thousand people according to our information.

I wish to cite other figures: for example, about 7 thousand inhabitants of the Gal district took part in the parliamentary elections in 1996. And in 1999 on the referendum and presidential elections there were 13 thousand people on the list. In 2004 no more than 8 thousand people participated in the presidential elections out of 14, 5 thousand of Gal inhabitants inscribed in the list for voting. It is not a question of tens, hundreds thousand people living in the Gal district.

In the law it is a question of people who have returned to the places of former permanent residence in the Gal district before the new law “About citizenship of the Republic of Abkhazia” (before 2005 - Apsnypress) was passed. The issues of citizenship of those Gal inhabitants who came after 2005 or will come, will be considered by general order, that is they should live 10 years in the republic, receive residence permit and so on.

It would like to remind that according to the law about citizenship which was passed in 1993, actually all inhabitants of the Gal district were citizens of our country. We haven’t done anything new, we have only specified, who exactly can apply for citizenship.

According to the change we made to the law about citizenship, passports will be issued to the people living in the Gal district if they meet all those above-mentioned requirements, freely, upon applying. At that they should refuse the Georgian citizenship in written form if they have one.

Apsnypress: Is it enough to indicate in the application that they refuse the Georgian citizenship? Is any documentation that a person is deprived of the citizenship of Georgia required?

N. Ashuba: We thought of it in principle, but it is unreal. Georgia will not confirm officially refusal of the citizenship.

I would like to remind that according to the legislation, the Abkhaz and the Abazins, regardless of their place of residence and a citizenship of a foreign state are acknowledged citizens of Abkhazia. But they, until they arrive in Abkhazia and receive our passport, actually cannot have all the rights of the citizen of Abkhazia.

The inhabitants of the Gal district, who are acknowledged citizens of Abkhazia, should also address to respective bodies, to submit an application and to indicate that they refuse the Georgian citizenship to possess all the rights and obligations of the citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia.

If later it is revealed that he has kept back the Georgian citizenship and has hidden the Georgian passport, we have a procedure of deprivation of our citizenship.

Apsnypress: the Parliamentary commission recommended to consider amendments to the law “About citizenship of the Republic of Abkhazia” together with amendments to the election legislation to exclude gamble with #9 form, Soviet passports and to make Abkhaz national passport the only document giving the right to vote.

N. Ashuba: When we created the Commission of 12, we included there deputies as well as experts, opposition’s representatives. The majority of the Commission’s members, except for two who had a separate opinion, considered that respectable inhabitants of the Gal district have the right to receive Abkhaz citizenship. And the second Commission’s recommendation was to carry out presidential elections in the Republic of Abkhazia by Abkhaz passports. It concerns not only the Gal district, but all Abkhazia.

We have taken into consideration the Commission’s recommendations. But before summer recess we had time to prepare only changes to the law about citizenship. As to the amendment to the law about presidential elections a commission was given to the Committee on Legislation, Judicial-Legal reform, State Building. And the opposition’s deputies were told, sit down, draft the bill, put forward proposals and the Parliament will consider them in September-October. We still have time till December. What will be decided, I cannot know yet.

If we make the passport of the citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia the only document by which people can vote a huge number of citizens of our country cannot do the constitutional duty. They are not only inhabitants of the Gal district, but also of all other districts of the republic because a lot of our citizens have not yet received national passports. Only 134 thousand people have received Abkhaz passports so far. For example, in the Gudauta district 7 thousand people haven’t yet received passports. Can we neglect them? If someone considers both human rights and the Constitution can be infringed he can take such a decision. I myself stand for voting by Abkhaz passports because there will be more order this way. Now a lot of people have several passports on hand: in one he is registered in Tkuarchal, in another in Sukhum. Just try to understand, where exactly he will vote on the Election Day. All of us both opposition and the authorities should try to propagandize the Abkhaz passport for the maximum number of people to have them till December. I speak about all Abkhazia, not only about the Gal district.

On the other hand, all citizens are equal before the law. If we considered someone a citizen, he has a constitutional right to vote, even if he does not have the Abkhaz passport.

I consider accusations of the authorities that they want to forge something and consequently allow to vote by different documents absolutely groundless. If we try and we issue passports to the majority of our citizens then we will write in the election law that it is possible to vote only by the national passports of the citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia.


Опубликовал administrator, 5-08-2009, 17:34. Просмотров: 1849
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