KATHMANDU, March 7: The Constitutional Court has clarified that only Nepali citizens are eligible to form political parties and participate in elections. The verdict was delivered in the citizenship case of former Interior Minister Rabi Lamichhane. While the High Court had previously ruled Lamichhane’s citizenship illegal and removed his parliamentary seat, the full reading of the verdict was published on Tuesday.
According to the provisions listed in Article 84 of the Constitution of Nepal, every citizen of Nepal above the age of 18 has the right to vote in a constituency as provided by federal law. Furthermore, Article 87 states that only Nepali citizens are eligible to become a member of the Federal Parliament.
In addition, the court cited Article 291 in the Lamichhane citizenship and passport disputes, which states that Nepalese citizens who hold permanent residence permits abroad are not eligible for election, nomination or appointment to any office under the Constitution. However, a person who has renounced their permanent residence permit abroad may be elected, nominated or appointed to such position after a period of three months.
The verdict on Lamichhane’s citizenship case has made it clear that only Nepali citizens are eligible to form political parties and participate in elections, and those who have permanent residence permits abroad are not eligible for any office under the Constitution.