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Debra Backer resigns from Parliament

The chair that Debra Backer once occupied

A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) front bencher and Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs, Debra Backer has resigned as a parliamentarian due to ill health, well-placed sources said.

With Backer resigning, constitutionally it now means that the Speaker of the National Assembly would have to declare the seat vacant. She is current overseas undergoing cancer treatment and would not be back in Guyana for crucial budget debates and possible disapproval of sections.

Constitutionally, he would have to inform the Guyana Elections Commission and call on APNU’s Representative of the List to identify a replacement.

Depending on whether APNU has decided on Medical Doctor, Karen Cummings or any other candidate on its list, that person could be sworn in at next Monday’s sitting of the National Assembly.

Little-known in political circles, Cummings is the wife of University of Guyana Lecturer in Medicine, Dr. Emmanuel Cummings. He joined the governing Peoples Progressive Party Civic’s list of candidates in the 2011 General and Regional Elections.

APNU say that Aubrey Norton, despite his expertise and experience in Politics and International Relations, would not be selected to fill the void left by Backer, an Attorney-at-Law.

Norton has blamed a “small clique’ for ostracising him because he has been outspoken and not a “yes man”. Norton said he has always worked in the best interest of the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR)- the major APNU partner- although he has openly supported Carl Greenidge for the party’s leadership rather than incumbent David Granger.