KATHMANDU, August 18: The House of Representatives (HoR) has endorsed the Citizenship Amendment Bill sent back to parliament earlier by President Bidya Devi Bhandari along with her suggestions.
During a voting held in parliament on Thursday, a total of 135 voted in favor of endorsing the Amendment Bill in its current form, while 60 lawmakers belonging to the main opposition party, CPN-UML, voted against the Amendment Bill. Only 195 lawmakers were present in the HoR meeting on Thursday.
Lawmakers had deliberated on the amendment bill at Thursday's meeting of parliament. While lawmakers belonging to the ruling coalition argued that the Amendment Bill should be endorsed without any further delay as children of those receiving citizenship certificates by birth were denied citizenship certificates, the lawmakers belonging to the opposition parties suggested forwarding the Bill to the thematic committee of parliament to arrive at consensus on contentious provisions in the Bill.
Responding to the queries of lawmakers, Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand said that the failure of parliament to endorse the Amendment Bill would deprive citizenship certificates to around 700,000 children of those receiving citizenship certificates by birth earlier in Nepal. He also urged all lawmakers to help endorse the Bill to help them avoid rendering ‘stateless’.
Leaders belonging to the ruling parties said the Bill will be sent again to President Bhandari for authentication after it is endorsed again by the National Assembly.