Nepalis abroad seek voting rights


Many Nepalis living abroad have sought voting rights for those who live or work in foreign countries— in the upcoming constitution.

Giving their feedback on the preliminary draft of the new statute, they also stated that the document should ensure political stability and economic development of the country.

They gave their suggestions during interactions organised by Nepali embassies, through various Nepali organisations or in their personal capacity to the Nepali Embassy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the Constituent Assembly Secretariat in Kathmandu.

MoFA — through Nepal’s 35 diplomatic outposts — had appealed to all Nepalis living abroad to give their valuable suggestions on the first draft of the constitution.

Most of Nepal’s foreign missions, including those based in India, United Kingdom, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, South Africa, and Pakistan had set a deadline of Tuesday to comment on the document. People are even encouraged to send their opinions through email to the CA Secretariat, directly.

Ambassador of Nepal to Saudi Arabia Uday Raj Pandey told The Himalayan Times over phone that many Nepali migrants working in the Gulf region had sought guarantee of job opportunities for all citizens so that people would not be compelled to leave the country just to find a menial job.

The embassy last week had interacted with Nepalis in volleyball and football competitions of Nepali migrants organised on the occasion of Eid festival in Saudi cities of Dammam and Riyadh.

Some Nepalis who are studying or working in Europe, North America and Australia have demanded dual citizenship in the future constitution, officials said.

The Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi on Saturday organised an interaction where the sister-wings of Nepal’s various political parties made their comments on the statute.

“Public suggestions include ensuring voting rights for those living abroad, equal rights of women, exclusion of the provision of secularism, among others,” Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay told THT over phone. Once the feedback collection process gets over, we, through MoFA, it will be forwarded to the CA Secretariat, he added.

Embassy of Nepal in London informed that so far it received suggestions from two Nepali organisations active in the UK on the draft constitution. “We have learnt that some Nepalis have sent their views to the CA Secretariat, directly,” Charge d’affaires of the Embassy Tej Bahadur Kshetri said.

Bharaj Raj Gautam, spokesperson of the CA Secretariat, said that as many as 9,880 feedbacks had been received through the website and 4,332 more from email at the CA Secretariat so far.

“At least 35 per cent of them have come from Nepalis living in different countries. However, we have yet to receive feedback from embassies and missions abroad.”