KATHMANDU, Nov 6: An alleged draft of the constitution amendment proposal so as to allow naturalized citizens to hold top state positions has been made public.
The proposal states that a person holding naturalized citizenship and residing in Nepal for 10 years after acquiring the citizenship will be eligible for top positions.
However, the government has claimed that the draft that has been circulating in media is not the official draft. It is unclear who and for what purpose made the draft public .
Talking to Republica Online, Press Advisor to prime minister, Govinda Acharya said that the government was holding talks with all the parties, adding that the draft proposal has not been readied yet.
He claimed that all the parties are positive on reaching an agreement as per the Interim Constitution. He claimed that the reports that the constitution is being amendment so as to allow naturalized citizen to hold key positions are baseless.
The draft proposes amendment of the Article 289 (1) of the constitution as “A person who has obtained the citizenship of Nepal by descent, a person who has obtained the naturalized citizenship of Nepal and resided in Nepal for 10 years after receiving the citizenship or a person who has obtained the citizenship of Nepal by virtue of birth shall also be qualified for the appointment.”
Article 289 of the constitution bars naturalized citizens from holding nine key state positions.
The new constitution states that the person holding citizenship only by descent will be eligible for appointment as President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief of State, Chief Minister, Speaker of a State Assembly and chiefs of security bodies.
The Article adds that a person who has obtained the citizenship of Nepal by descent, a person who has obtained the naturalized citizenship of Nepal or a person who has obtained the citizenship of Nepal by virtue of birth shall also be qualified for the office of a constitutional body.
For that person must have resided in Nepal for at least ten years in the case of a person who has obtained the naturalized citizenship of Nepal, and for at least five years in the case of a person who has obtained the citizenship of Nepal by birth or who has obtained the naturalized citizenship
UDMF too has claimed that the government has not forwarded any draft of the amendment proposal.
General Secretary of Rastriya Madhes Samajwadi Party Keshav Jha told Republica Online that the government had not forwarded any draft proposal.
Meanwhile on Sunday, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal held separate meetings with leaders of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) and Rastriay Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) and discussed the constitution amendment.