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Medical doctor could replace Debra Backer

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 21:00 by GxMedia

Dr.Karen Cummings (Guyana Times photo)

Medical doctor, Karen Cummings is among persons being considered to replace Debra Backer as A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) parliamentarian, multiple party insiders said Monday.

With Backer expected to remain in Trinidad until April for chemotherapy, sources said she is expected to step down as a parliamentarian in the coming days to facilitate her replacement in time for debate and vote on the 2014 National Budget.

The combined opposition holds a one-seat majority in the 65-seat Assembly.

The sources said APNU Chairman and Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader, David Granger has been leaning heavily on a female to fill the vacancy to be left by Backer, a well-known Attorney-at-Law.

While Cummings is expected to be the replacement, it is unclear whether she would take over Backer’s portfolio of Foreign Affairs. That means that the shadow ministerial responsibilities may have to be shuffled or merged. APNU’s Shadow Cabinet meets on Tuesdays.

Cummings is the wife of Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) candidate, Dr. Emmanuel Cummings.

Backer’s replacement has not been discussed at the Central Executive of the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR), the largest constituent of the APNU.APNU and PNCR sources have said that if the matter was put on the Central Executive’s agenda, it was likely that former Foreign Service Officer and University of Guyana Lecturer in Political Science and International Relations, Aubrey Norton could have gotten the nod to replace Backer from among party diehards.  He has expressed a willingness to return to the House.

Sources said that although Norton would be the logical replacement, he is regarded by some in the PNCR as being too divisive and takes party business to the street corner. Late PNCR Leader, Desmond Hoyte had shoved him out of the General Secretary post over his style.

Other names being floated are veteran PNCR member, Cheryl Sampson and Agriculturalist, Tony Vieria.

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February 2014