YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The chairman of Armenia’s parliament committee on legal issues–Rafik Petrosian–endorsed on Monday a proposed constitutional amendment that would rid the ban on dual citizenship. That amendment will be put to a nationwide referendum later this year.
Speaking at a roundtable organized by the Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–to review the benefits and disadvantages of the amendment–Petrosian pointed to the Armenian diaspora’s economic potential–and its capacity to advance Armenia’s economy.
Supporters of dual citizenship argue its introduction would enable the Armenian diaspora to render assistance more effectively–increase foreign investment in the country–and bring expatriate Armenia’s psychologically closer to their historical homeland.
According to Petrosian–the law on dual citizenship should not allow diaspora Armenia’s to either vote in elections or be able to run for office in Armenia. ARF’s Armen Rustamian argued against that proposal.
Opponents of the amendment say it is fraught with unforeseen consequences and could surrender sovereignty to people in other countries. They also fear that the Armenian government could be influenced by outside forces if dual citizens are granted the right to vote and are allowed to run for office.
Dual citizenship is only possible when bilateral agreemen’s are struck other countries allowing their citizens to be dual nationals.
Ruben Kirakosian–a political analyst from Moscow–nevertheless–urged Armenia’s to review the political benefits before considering the amendment.