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Nepal assembly passes expanded citizenship bill

[JURIST] Nepal's House of Representatives Sunday passed a citizenship bill granting opportunity to apply for citizenship to an estimated four million people living in the Terai region along the country's southern border with India. The bill declares that individuals born before mid-April 1990 and who have been residing in Nepal [JURIST news archive] since that date, are eligible to acquire Nepali citizenship. The passing of the legislation fulfills a term of the peace agreement between the Nepalese government and Maoist rebels" [JURIST report], which stipulated citizenship reforms before national elections slated for mid-June of next year.

Opposition political parties conducted three weeks of pro-democracy protests [JURIST news archive] in April, forcing King Gyanendra [official profile; BBC profile] to reinstate parliament [JURIST report] and give up direct control of the government. A peace agreement last Tuesday formally ended a decade-long Maoist insurgency [JURIST report]. The agreement is expected to pave the way for Maoists to participate in an interim government by December 1, although a Sunday deadline to install a new interim parliament has now passed. AFP has more. eKantipur has local coverage.

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