Internet Radio

APNU’s Debra Backer hospitalised; APNU downplays recall

A Partnership for National Unity’s parliamentarian, Debra Backer is hospitalised due to a prolonged illness but Opposition Leader, David Granger on Friday said it was too early to think about replacing her.

“The matter hasn’t arisen at this point in time…Mrs. Backer’s condition is stable and we don’t have reason to speculate her attendance,” he told a news conference.

The witty Backer, who rose to active political prominence in the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) under the leadership of late Desmond Hoyte, has so far missed two straight sittings of the National Assembly.

When the front-bencher was first discharged from surgery, Backer had managed to attend a small number of Assembly sittings before reporting absent. Since then, she has been hospitalised and in a serious condition. “Her condition is stable and when she is better she’ll return to parliament. That’s as much as we can say at this point in time,” said Granger.

With here absence, the government and the combined opposition are tied at 32-32 in the 65-seat House. Sittings resume on January 16. Backer is also Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.

APNU earlier this year was forced to recall Richard Allen after he collapsed in the House and replace him with Renita Williams ahead of crucial votes for the 2013 National Budget.