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Salome Zurabishvili, August 30, 2018. Photo: facebook.com/zourabichvilisalome/

Zurabishvili States Her French Citizenship Terminated

France has terminated the citizenship of Salome Zurabishvili, a French-born career diplomat and a member of the Parliament of Georgia.

Zurabishvili, who held double Georgian-French citizenship, requested the French government to renounce her citizenship as she plans to run in the October presidential elections in Georgia as an independent candidate.

“This decision was not simple, but it was necessary. The President of Georgia cannot simultaneously be a citizen of another country,” Salome Zurabishvili said at a news briefing on August 30.

According to the Georgian constitution, any citizen of Georgia who is eligible to vote may be elected as the President of Georgia if he/she is thirty-five years old, has lived in Georgia for at least five years, and has been living in Georgia for the last three years before the election.

Zurabishvili, born to an immigrant family that fled Georgia in 1921, was invited to become the country’s Foreign Minister in March 2004 by then President Mikheil Saakashvili, but was sacked in October 2005 after a confrontation with the parliamentary majority. In 2006, she went into opposition and set up a political party – Georgia’s Way, which she led until 2010.

In November 2010, Zurabishvili announced about “temporarily quitting” politics and left the country after she was appointed as a coordinator of the United Nations panel of experts on Iran. Zurabishvili returned to Georgia to run for the presidency in 2013, but her bid was rejected by the Central Election Commission on the grounds of having dual citizenship.

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