According to Wikipedia, Georgia has a significant part of its country occupied by Russia:

[...] territories occupied by Russia after the Russo-Georgian War in 2008. They consist of the regions of Abkhazia and the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast of Soviet Georgia

According to this article, Georgia's President, Giorgi Margvelashvili said that a referendum cannot be held because the country has occupied territories:

we should take into account the law on a referendum. It says that referendum must be held on the entire territory of the country. I, as the guarantee of country’s unity and national independence, am obliged to defend country’s sovereignty in the first place. In the times when 20% of our territories is occupied and when Russia has recognized occupied territories as independent states, it would give the occupant more legal argumentations.

Question: is there any country that held referendum(s) in spite of having occupied or disputed territories that prevented it from including all its citizens within the referendum?

  • Maybe, but what is the relevance? If Georgia has a law requiring a referendum to be held in the whole country and country X doesn’t have such a law, then an incomplete referendum is legal in country X but not in Georgia. Of course, Georgia could repeal its law if it wanted to. – chirlu Aug 29 '17 at 12:39
  • @chirlu - From the article, I understand that the main objection to having a referendum in all the country territory except the occupied parts is not providing an extra argument for Russia. Something like: if you organize a national referendum that does not include a part of your territory, you are not seeing those parts as your own. – Alexei Aug 29 '17 at 12:48
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    You might have to define terms a bit carefully to get the answer you're actually interested in. For example, the Republic of Ireland's constitution defined its national territory as the the whole island of Ireland from 1937 until 1998, and they had at least a dozen referendums in that time which might count. Meanwhile citizenship and ability to vote was also complicated. – origimbo Aug 29 '17 at 13:01
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    Additionally to @origimbo comment, the Republic of China (aka Taiwan) has held several referendum while still claiming to be the legitimate government of all China (I do not know if there has been any referendum in the PRC, but the situation would be the same). – SJuan76 Aug 29 '17 at 13:14
  • @Alexei, your question mixes the voting right for citizens and the country's inability to establish the polling stations on occupied territories. If you extend the question to "national referendums or nation-wide elections" (which make a perfect sense) then the answer would be, definitely yes. Many countries let its citizens who reside on occupied territories to come to the controlled areas and vote there. Example: Ukrainian presidential election, 2014 – bytebuster for Long Usernames Aug 29 '17 at 14:04

Examples taken from comments

The Republic of Ireland had claimed the whole island of Ireland, it was therefore in dispute with the UK, which controlled the North of Ireland. There were several referenda in Ireland, which did not include voters in the North.

The Republic of China claims the full territory of Mainland China, and therefore considers all people in China to be citizens. There have been referendums in the Republic of China, which did not include voters on the mainland, as it is under the administration of the PRC.

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