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Jagdeo, Ramotar sue govt for former presidents benefits

Former Presidents Donald Ramotar and Bharrat Jagdeo.

Former Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar have moved to the High Court seeking large sums of monies following the capping of the benefits of former presidents.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams said he would “seek leave to defend the applications” that were filed on November 11, 2015.

The matters come up before Chief Justice Ian Chang and Justice Narendra Singh on December 11, 2015.

The Attorney General said Ramotar and Jagdeo filed the applications “seeking in effect to receive large sums of money in benefits and other facilities that were capped on the coming into operation of the Former Presidents (Benefits and Other Facilities) Act No.3 of 2015.

“They are now challenging the Act and contend that their earnings had accrued before the passage of the Act and so they are entitled to continue to be able to receive those tremendous earnings and benefits still,” he said.

Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall earlier this year argued that three ex Guyanese Presidents and current President David Granger cannot lose their benefits because the constitution guarantees right to property, employment and security of salaries and benefits to the highest amount.

Nandlall has explained Guyana’s Constitution (Article 222(3) says certain officeholders are entitled to salaries and allowances as well as other terms of service “shall not be altered to his or her disadvantage after his or her appointment” and those terms should be taken to the “more advantageous than any other terms to which he or she might have opted.”