Nepali politics has plunged into shock and sorrow with the sudden demise of Constituent Assembly Chairman and former Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang. He passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 71. He had suffered cardiac arrest and was found unconscious in the bathroom of his Balwatar residence at around 1:15 am, according to family sources. He was rushed to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital at Maharajgunj where he was declared dead. He is survived by two sons and two daughters. Recognising his contribution to the constitution-making process, the government has decided to perform the last rites of Nembang with state honours. A Cabinet meeting held today also extended sorrow over the demise of Nembang and expressed condolences to the bereaved family members. The government has decided to give a public holiday on the day of his final rites.
Born in 2009 B.S. in Ilam, Nembang started his political career as first elected Free Students Union chair of Mahendra Ratna Campus in his home district in 2028 B.S. He took a plunge into communist politics in 2029 B.S. He was jailed on charge of treason in 2033 B.S. while fighting for the restoration of democracy in the country. He had been continuously winning the parliamentary election from Ilam since 2056 B.S. Also former general secretary of Nepal Bar Association and teacher of Nepal Law Campus, he became Speaker of the reinstated Legislature-Parliament following the second people’s movement in 2062/63 B.S. Nembang contested in the presidential election in February this year but lost to incumbent President Ram Chandra Poudel. He became Speaker and CA chair unanimously, a fact that shows his image as consensus figure in Nepali politics. His personality is widely admired and revered.
Known as the soft-spoken, polite and gentle leader, Nembang was a popular and acceptable even for opposition parties. Coming from legal background, Nembang became active in politics for 50 years, witnessing various ups and downs of contemporary politics. He is basically remembered for his coordinating role in promulgating the new constitution in 2015. The first Constituent Assembly was dissolved without drafting the national charter. Even after the election to the second CA, the parties were divided on key content of the future constitution. It was uphill task to find a common ground among them. Nembang commendably laid emphasis on consensus, co-work and collaboration. “The political parties have brought together this system and there is no alternative to forging unity among them.” In his demise, the country has lost a prominent and respected leader who often came to rescue the politics when it was bogged down in the morass of crisis and differences.
The people from different walks of life have been mourning the demise of Nembang, who was also Vice Chairman of CPN-UML and deputy leader of its Parliamentary Party. President Poudel, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire, National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, former president Bidya Devi Bhandari and former prime ministers Sher Bahadur Deuba, KP Sharma Oli, Jhalanath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, among others, have said that they were stunned and aggrieved by the untimely demise of Nembang. UML leaders and cadres paid their tribute to Nembang at the party office Chyasal where his body lay in state. UML chair Oli has said that Nembang was not only his party vice-chair but also close friend and a comrade-in-arms. Posting his message in social media, Oli said, “Heartfelt condolences to my soft-spoken, polite and decent colleague Subash Nembang!" TRN family would like to express heartfelt sorrow at the untimely demise of Nembang and extend our deep condolences to the bereaved family.