KATHMANDU, August 16: CPN-UML lawmaker Bishal Bhattarai has said that at least a 7-year time limit should be maintained for obtaining naturalized citizenship through marriage.
Speaking at the House of Representatives (HoR) meeting on Tuesday, Bhattarai said that President Bidya Devi Bhandari had provided a golden opportunity to the political parties to reach national consensus on the Citizenship Bill by returning the Bill along with a message to the HoR. MP Bhattarai said that parliament should use this opportunity provided by the President and change the current provisions for acquiring naturalized citizenship through marriage and keep a time limit of at least seven years. He called upon all political parties in parliament to stand together and forge a common view on issues like citizenship.
MP Bhattarai recalled that after discussing the bill introduced by the previous government regarding the acquisition of naturalized citizenship through marriage, the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the House of Representatives had prepared a report on the bill with a seven-year deadline and submitted it to the House, but the current government suddenly withdrew it. He alleged that the MPs of the main opposition party had registered 33 amendment proposals to the Bill but the current government passed the controversial Bill with a majority. He said that there is no country in the world with a system to grant citizenship to foreigners marrying its citizens the very next day of the marriage. MP Bhattarai asked, “Who did the government sign a deal with to remove the 7-year system from the Citizenship Bill?”