Nepal amends citizenship rules, to provide citizenship by descent

The children of a Nepali mother will now be a bonafide citizen of Nepal, irrespective of the nationality of the father, according to a new ordinance issued by the Nepali government, reported The Kathmandu Post

May 24, 2021
Image
Nepal

The children of a Nepali mother will now be a bonafide citizen of Nepal, irrespective of the nationality of the father, according to a new ordinance issued by the Nepali government, reported The Kathmandu Post. The new laws will help many Nepali women who marry Indian men living in border districts. 

Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday promulgated Nepal Citizenship (first amendment) Ordinance 2021.

For years, woman rights activists, and the Janata Samajwadi Party-- a key opposition party whose political significance has risen lately due to political instability in the country-- have long been demanding these changes. 

Lilanath Shrestha, the country’s law minister, said the ordinance addressed two major issues—issuing citizenship by descent to the children of the couple who received citizenship in Nepal before September 20, 2015, and citizenship by descent to the children of a Nepali mother, whose father’s whereabouts are unknown.

Significantly, many analysts are also questioning the timing of the ordinance. Oli, who is currently the caretaker prime minister of Nepal, has been struggling to garner a majority in parliament. Earlier, his party had opposed such changes. The bill itself has been pending in parliament for almost three years now, and could not be passed. 

Oli had recently initiated a discussion on the bill in parliament recently at the behest of the Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP)- a key proponent of the bill. A faction of the party had even supported Oli politically in exchange for these amendments. However, before parliament could pass the bill, the president dissolved the house on Saturday and called fresh elections. 

Meanwhile, opposition leaders in the country accused Oli of using the ordinance for his political gains. 

“The bill was pending in Parliament for years, but it was never moved forward. Now it is being brought through an ordinance just to fulfill the ruler’s personal interest,” Shashi Shrestha, a leader of the CPN-MC, an opposition party, was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post. “Oli has brought this ordinance just to save his government.” 

Tweets about SAMonitor
SAM Facebook

Newsletter Subscription

The subscriber's email address.
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.