House panel fails to make headway on Citizenship Bill yet again

Published On: September 14, 2019 06:44 PM NPT By: Kamal Subedi  | @Inspiredkamal

KATHMANDU, Sept 14: The meeting of Parliamentary Committee on State Affairs and Good Governance which was held on Saturday to finalize the issues of marital naturalized citizenship ended inconclusively as the main opposition party Nepali Congress presented a written note of dissent.

The committee finally decided to seek political consensus to this contentious issue after the NC lawmakers demanded that the provision of marital naturalized citizenship should remain intact as provisioned in Citizenship Act 2006.

According to the committee chairperson Shashi Shrestha, the committee members were instructed to hold discussion with their party’s top brass regarding the issue and attend within 24 hours with a common understanding.

Lawmakers from the ruling Nepal Communist Party seconded the proposed provision of conferring naturalized citizenship to foreign brides and bridegrooms after completing a threshold of seven and fifteen years after marriage with Nepali male and female citizens respectively.

The lawmaker from ruling Socialist Party Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav, however, wondered what wrong would happen if naturalization of citizen based on Citizenship Act 2006 was made. “Providing naturalized citizenship certificate to any foreign bride doesn’t weaken nationality if she immediately relinquishes citizenship of her origin country," argued Yadav.

During the meeting, lawmaker Nawraj Silwal accused Nepali Congress of trying to politicize the issue. “Although this issue is highly serious, Congress is attempting to politicize with a different note instead of making initiations to resolve it,” added Silwal.

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