The Opposition group, A Partnership for National Unity has settled on Medical Doctor, Karen Cummings as the replacement in the National Assembly for APNU member Deborah Backer, who officially resigned from the National Assembly last week to focus on her health as she recovers from an illness.
Multiple sources in the APNU have confirmed the decision to News Source.
Dr. Cummings will be sworn in as the newest Member of Parliament when the National Assembly meets on Monday afternoon. Though she is not well-known among political watchers and analysts and is relatively new to the political scene, she enjoys the support of some of the leading members of the APNU.
She is a member of the People’s National Congress and was one of several names that were considered for the vacant seat in the National Assembly. Dr. Cummings is also the wife of Dr. Emmanuel Cummings who served as a candidate for the People’s Progressive Party during the last general elections.
It is unclear what portfolio she will be given. Also unclear is the process used for Dr. Cummings’ selection.
Leader of the Peoples National Congress and Opposition Leader David Granger indicated last Friday that because Ms. Backer was a PNC candidate in the APNU, her replacement would have certainly come from the PNC. However, a number of senior members of the Peoples National Congress appeared miffed over being shut out of the decision to choose Deborah Backer’s replacement.
One senior party member told News Source that all executive members should have been consulted. Mr. Granger had promised full consultation as part of the decision-making process.
Meanwhile, when the National Assembly meets on Monday, there will be some new seating arrangements on the Opposition side of the House.
APNU Member of Parliament, Ronald Bulkan who holds the Local Government portfolio will be moved from the back bench to the front bench on the opposition side.
APNU Member and Region 10 representative, Vanessa Kissoon will find herself seated in the back benches on the Opposition side. She previously sat in the second bench.
The new Member of Parliament after being sworn in, will occupy a seat in the second row.