Citizenship issue tough nut to crack

- Post Report, Kathmandu
According to the new constitution, only citizens by descent can hold the constitutional positions

Nov 8, 2016-With major parties standing against the demand of some Madhes-based parties to allow naturalised citizens to hold top constitutional positions following a public outcry, it has now been difficult for the parties to endorse even the provision of the Interim Constitution.

After the so-called non-paper appeared in some media, claiming that the government was preparing to amend the constitution inserting a provision to allow naturalised citizens to hold top constitutional positions after 10 years of receiving the citizenship, all the major parties have clarified their stance against the proposal.

Even Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Co-chairman Rajendra Shrestha claimed that the issue of citizenship was not the party’s demand. The SSFN is a major constituent of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha and head of the Sanghiya Gathabandhan.

Youths protested at Maitighar Mandala after the proposal came to the fore. On allowing naturalised citizens to hold top constitutional positions, PM Dahal has said the government was in discussion to find a solution based on the provision of the Interim Constitution.

Article 155 (2) of the Interim Constitution stated: “In order to be eligible for appointment to constitutional positions under this Constitution, one must be a citizen of Nepal either by descent or birth or as a naturalised citizen and has lived in Nepal at least for ten years.”

However, according to the new constitution, only citizens by descent can hold the constitutional positions.

PM Dahal’s Chief Political Adviser Chakrapani Khanal said the leak has made it difficult for the major parties to endorse the proposal even if it is registered in Parliament.

Main opposition CPN-UML leaders have said the party will not let that provision be endorsed from Parliament.

PM’s Adviser Khanal said the Maoist headquarters meeting scheduled for Wednesday would discuss the amendment proposal including the issue of citizenship.

Published: 08-11-2016 07:49

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