‘Her heckling was sharp but never personally wounding’ – APNU mourns Backer’s passing

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By Kurt Campbell

Former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and APNU Parliamentarian Deborah Backer died on Thursday.
Former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and APNU Parliamentarian Deborah Backer died on Thursday.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Deputy Speaker, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament and Lawyer Debroah Backer has certainly left a void in the hearts of many as she ascended to the great beyond.

Today, (Friday, March 21) several members of the APNU observed a minute of silence for the late comrade, following which, time was taken to reflect on her life and contribution to the legal and political fraternity.

APNU Executive and Backer’s legal colleague Basil Williams, who appeared to be fighting to hold back tears, said it was with profound shock that he learnt early Friday morning of the former Deputy Speaker’s passing. Williams succeeded Backer to become Deputy Speaker of the House.

He said the Opposition has lost a great icon, a freedom fighter, a champion for women rights and a soldier for justice.

Meanwhile, APNU’s Joseph Harmon told reporters that Backer’s passing, though resigning from the APNU and from her post as Deputy Speaker after she fell ill, is an irreplaceable lost for the party and nation at large.

APNU members observe a moment of silence for the late Deborah Backer. [iNews' Photo]
APNU members observe a moment of silence for the late Deborah Backer. [iNews’ Photo]
He recalled attributes of pure humour, commitment and zeal in pursuit for justice. Harmon said of utmost admiration was the manner in which she was respected across the political aisle.

“She turned heckling in the House into an art form; it was sharp but never personally wounding.”

Condolences also flew from APNU’s Jaipaul Sharma and Carl Greenidge.

Greenidge in recalling the dynamic Backer noted her capacity to ‘master’ the Standing Orders of the House, adding that she had no pair in that regard.

“She was quick on her feet and could adjust to the twist and turns of any debate, she was a major asset.”

He has committed to redoubling his efforts and that of the Party to ensure that the goals which she invested her energies to achieve are accomplished.

Baker died of cancer in Guyana on Thursday night (March 20). She had been battling with the sickness since last year and only recently resigned as a Parliamentarian and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Upon her resignation, APNU’s Leader, David Granger had said that Backer was a great loss to the Party, as she was among the most brilliant minds within the APNU.

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