Ruling party for allowing naturalized citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men only after seven yearsA Secretariat meeting on Saturday took the decision on the issue, which is being debated in a parliamentary committee for the last two years.
The ruling Nepal Communist Party has decided to allow naturalized citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men only after seven years.
A meeting of the Secretariat, which has all its members males, took the decision on behalf of the party as the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee prepares to send the amendment bill to the Citizenship Act to full House.
“Today’s Secretariat meeting has concluded that foreign women marrying to Nepali men should be given naturalized citizenship after seven years upon showing the proof of renouncement of previous citizenship or a similar document,” said Narayan Kaji Shrestha, party spokesperson.
The provision of naturalised citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men has been a bone of contention among the parties for the last two years.
The amendment bill on Citizenship Act has been under consideration in the federal parliament for around two years now. The State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of Parliament has held over 140 meetings since the bill was first registered.
According to standing committee member and lawmaker Pampha Bhusal, at a Friday meeting of the top leaders at Baluwatar, almost everyone was for allowing naturalised citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men only after seven years.
Ruling party’s decision is in sharp contrast to the stance by the main opposition Nepali Congress, which is for allowing naturalized citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men immediately after they start the process to renounce their previous citizenship as per the provision of the Citizenship Act 2063.
A recent office bearers’ meeting of the Nepali Congress decided to continue with the provisions of the Citizenship Act 2063, which allow foreign women married to Nepali men to acquire naturalised citizenship after they initiate the process to renounce their original citizenship.
Ruling party leaders, however, have maintained for long that there should be a seven-year provision for foreign women to acquire naturalised citizenship seven years after entering into matrimony with Nepali men.
On Thursday, top leaders of the ruling party had consulted leaders of the main opposition. But a consensus could not be forged.
Wednesday’s meeting of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee had urged major parties to forge consensus on the contentious issue within five days.
With the two major parties divided on the provisions, the committee members are in favour of presenting the bill before the full house.
The Samajbadi Party Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party have also supported the Nepali Congress’ stance on naturalised citizenship for foreign women.