The filing of a High Court case calling for the removal of term limits for the country’s presidency drew an emphatic response from Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, according to the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Addressing the media at his weekly post- briefing Dr. Luncheon stated that former President Bharrat Jagdeo “remains committed to not pursuing any further appointment to elected constitutional office or posts in Guyana”.
This statement reiterates the former Head of State’s public position that he has repeatedly declared, since he left office after the 2011 General Elections, Dr. Luncheon added.
The statement is in direct response to the deliberate attempts to create uncertainty at this particular point in time by the filing of the constitutional motion that essentially seeks to void the constitutional amendment that limit the term of office of Guyanese presidents, the Cabinet Secretary further added.
It was explained that the former president, who has been named in the motion has disclosed “his disinterest in the matter, and his firm resolution not to entertain further constitutional posts”. Dr Luncheon said for the former president it is a matter of principle which is consistent with his earlier declarations to “all and sundry concerning this matter”.
The constitutional amendment that resulted in the term limits being agreed to, arose out of a “historic time”, in the evolution of the return to democracy to Guyana, Dr Luncheon explained.
“If the argument is that we have matured and that amendment needs to be dispensed with, one would have to do a similar such process that led to the amendment to consider a similar such approach. I would want to believe that to the extent that we believe and we verily do, that the constitutional amendments are enforceable and indeed have been in force over the decades of the term in office of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic”.
He noted that even in the absence of formal Cabinet declaration, its attitude to the current constitutional provision “indeed remains unaltered’.
A motion challenging the constitutional provision was brought by a Georgetown resident, Cedric Richardson. Guyana’s Constitution states that a person elected as president after the year 2000 is eligible for re-election only once.
The motion has named Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman as respondents