The President of Nepal does not ratify the Citizenship Bill: The Citizenship Bill was twice approved by both Houses of Parliament and was due to ratified by Tuesday midnight. But Nepal’s President Bidhya Devi Bhandari declined to do so.
According to sources in the President’s office, she decided not to ratify the Bill after consultation with a cross-section of society. And the advice that the subject required more extensive discussion and agreement.
The sources said, “After midnight, the bill has expired,” adding that she intentionally missed the deadline since the current House’s term ended 72 hours before the deadline.
The Bill, which establishes non-resident Nepalis’ eligibility for citizenship based on their marital status and secures their non-voting citizenship.
It examined and submitted to the President for ratification. However, the President has already asked the Parliament for clarity on several matters.
According to the Constitution, the President must sign the Bill 15 days after both Houses approve it and send it to him.
However, the House of Representatives, where the bill was first introduced. It finished its term and vacated 48 hours before the required 15-day timeframe.
Due to the high number of stateless individuals. PM Deuba requested during two meetings with the President that the Bill not delay. However, even openly, coalition partner and Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda that the President step down.
While the main opposition Communist party, Nepal’s United Marxist Leninist Party, has defended Bhandari’s position. Youth and student organizations affiliated with the ruling coalition parties, primarily the Maoists and the Nepali Congress. They have threatened to organize a large-scale protest to demand her resignation.
With the present conflict occurring only two months before the general election, the Constitution has completely broken down.
The President and Prime Minister’s quarrel might aggravate the situation and demoralize the governmental machinery.