House honours Deborah Backer

Four months after the passing of APNU MP and Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Deborah Backer, members of the National Assembly on Thursday moved a motion to honour the contributions she made and have their tributes to her recorded in the Hansard.

Backer, who was also an attorney and a member of several civil society groups, received glowing commendations from all sides of the house during the sitting for the roles she played during her many years as a Member of Parliament (MP).

It was A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) MP and Chief Whip Amna Ally who moved the motion. In her presentation, she recalled that Backer was unmatched as a debater in the House and an invaluable asset to the coalition for that and other reasons.

Deborah Backer
Deborah Backer

Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall said that though Backer was a member of an opposing party, she, as a mediator, could be counted on to be pragmatic and impartial. He also recalled that Backer was a skilled heckler, and he shared that several members often found themselves on the receiving end of her heckling, much to their detriment.

He also noted that though she adopted a party-oriented stance as an MP, she was capable of neutrality when called on to perform her role as Deputy Speaker. Meanwhile, AFC MP Cathy Hughes recalled that Backer usually took the time to explain strategy and other elements of parliamentary work to her, while Opposition leader David Granger, like Ally, sung Backer’s praises, calling her a valuable asset to APNU.

House Speaker Raphael Trotman also took the opportunity to honour Backer’s memory. In a short address, he reminded the House that she was “the life of the National Assembly,” and that it will never be the same without her.

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