Citizenship Bill in limbo: Will it be authenticated or the Prez will resign?

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KATHMANDU, Sept 19: The citizenship bill passed with majority by both houses of parliament is currently in hold at the President’s office since the past 14 days.

Speaker of the lower house Agni Prasad Sapkota had sent the bill to the President's office on September 5 for the authentication.

According to the secretariat of the federal parliament, President Bidya Devi Bhandari must authenticate the bill by September 20. During this period, President Bhandari authenticated more than dozen bills but has not shown any interest in authenticating the citizenship bill.

As per the constitution, President Bidya Devi Bhandari has no option but to authenticate the bill.

It has been mentioned in the constitution that the President is obliged to authenticate the bill passed by the lower and upper house by 15 days. However, in the past, President Bhandari has authenticated bills and ordinances within a day.

The main opposition party, CPN-UML, has been maintaining that the government should provide citizenship to foreign women getting married with Nepali men only after 7 years of marriage. President Bhandari also seems concerned over the same.

Earlier, the parliament had sent the bill for authentication but President Bhandar returned the bill demanding review. In its part, the lower and upper house once again passed the bill without making any changes and sent it for authentication.

It has been learnt that President Bhandari is these days holding discussions and consulting with legal experts and they have consulted her to resign rather than authenticate the bill. However, President Bhandari has not made any decision yet, according to sources close to the president's office.

Besides, the ruling alliance has also started demanding resignation of President Bhandari if she refuses to authenticate the bill.

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