Kathmandu: Four political parties in the ruling coalition on Wednesday termed the move by President Bidya Devi Bhandari to reject the Citizenship Amendment Bill as an attack on the constitutional system.
Issuing a joint statement, Nepali Congress, CPN (Maoist Center), CPN (Unified Socialist), and Janata Samajwadi Party said the President disrespected and devaluated the Federal Parliament by not certifying the bill.
The alliance in the statement said that children of Nepali parents who have obtained citizenship will be deprived of their constitutional right to obtain Nepali citizenship due to the move by the president.
Similarly, the alliance stated that there has been a serious attack on people’s sovereignty, constitutional supremacy, and the basic values of the democratic governance provided by the constitution.
The statement has been signed by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is also the president of the Congress, Chairman of the CPN (Maoist Center) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Chairman of the CPN (Unified Socialist) Madhav Kumar Nepal, and Chairman of the Janata Samajwadi Party Upendra Yadav.
President Bhandari on Tuesday refused to endorse the Bill to amend the Nepal Citizenship Act, 2063 BS which was endorsed twice by both the House of Representatives and the National Assembly within the stipulated time.
The 15-day timeline given to the President by the Constitution for certification expired at midnight on Tuesday.
Article 113 (4) of the Nepal Constitution has enshrined a provision that the President should compulsorily certify the bill when it was sent to the President twice for authentication.
Earlier, both the Houses of the Federal Parliament had sent the bill to the President for certification on August 1 for the first time. The President had sent back the bill to the parliament with an eight-point message noting it required reconsideration from the parliament as per the constitution.
Then, both the Houses of parliament endorsed the bill a second time without making any changes.
According to Article 113 (4) of the Constitution, if the President sends back any bill with the message and if both the Houses reconsider the bill, pass it, and present it again to the President, the Head of State shall authenticate that Bill within fifteen days of such presentation.