September 22: Division in national politics of Nepal has flared up by the decision of President Bidya Devi Bhandari not to authenticate the Citizenship Bill passed by the parliament for the second time.
President Bhandari has courted controversy for not authenticating the bill within the timeline set by the constitution.
Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun as well as the ruling coalition parties have heavily criticized the move of the president. On the other hand, the main opposition party CPN-UML has remained silent indicating its support to the president's controversial move.
Vice President Pun remarked that those who are responsible for the protection of the constitution are not allowed to take any action by stepping outside the jurisdiction of the constitution. A statement issued by Vice President Pun on Wednesday reads, “The events developed in the last few days have led to widespread discontent among the people who have voiced concerns that the constitution has not been followed and protected by the main guardians and patrons of the constitution. Those who are responsible for the protection of the constitution are not allowed to go beyond the scope of the constitution.” Recalling the commitment made on the Constitution Day, he urged all parties to follow and protect the constitution.
On Wednesday, a meeting of the ruling coalition labeled the president’s move as unconstitutional and announced for protest programmes. A statement issued after the meeting states that the coalition partners have concluded that the president has failed to follow and protect the constitution by violating the constitutional provision that requires the president to authenticate a bill within 15 days after it is passed by the House of Representatives and the National Assembly for the second time and then submitted to the president. They believe that the president's 'unconstitutional move’ has utterly insulted and undermined the Federal Parliament elected by the people.
The statement also mentions that the children of Nepali parents who have obtained citizenship have been deprived of their constitutional right to obtain citizenship, as well as the basic values of sovereignty, constitutional supremacy and democratic governance guaranteed by the constitution written by the Constituent Assembly due to the president's decision.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba discussed the steps taken by the president and the steps to be taken in the coming days with lawyers on Wednesday. According to the sources, the law professional suggested that the government can seek legal remedies against the president's move as unconstitutional. Dikssatisfied with the president's move, the ruling parties are preparing to move the Supreme Court but have not been able to reach a decision.