Nepal president refuses to ratify Citizenship Bill

Wednesday 28th September 2022 06:42 EDT

kathmandu: Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari denied authenticating the citizenship Bill despite the constitutionally bounded provision to ratify it within 15 days after it has been re-approved by both houses. President's political advisor Lalbabu Yadav confirmed that Bhandari has refused to authenticate the bill "in order to safeguard the constitution."

"It is stated in Article 61(4) that the main duty of the president shall be to abide by and protect the Constitution. This means protecting all articles of the Constitution. One cannot say by only looking at Article 113 that the president did not fulfil her constitutional responsibility," Yadav claimed.

As per the provision, the president is constitutionally bounded to authenticate any bill that is resubmitted by the House after sending it back to the House for reconsideration once. President Bhandari on August 14 returned the Citizenship Bill, which was sent to her for authentication after being passed by both the House of Representatives (HoR) and the National Assembly. She had sent a seven-point message to inform the federal parliament and for deliberation, and another eight-point message to draw attention. She had mentioned that the bill was silent about the provision of naturalized citizenship through marriage as per Article 11(6) of the Constitution. "If a foreign woman married to a Nepali citizen so wishes, she may acquire naturalized citizenship of Nepal as provided for in a Federal law," states Article 11(6) of the Constitution. President Bhandari had pointed out that the Constitution clearly says federal law but the bill passed by the national parliament did not have that provision. But at the time of filing the application, if the mother of such a person has died or is not mentally stable, the law also provides that the applicant must make a self-declaration with evidence.

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