Lawyer warns coalition members against taking salaries from public purse

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David Patterson, Annette Ferguson, Simona Broomes, Christopher Jones, and Ryan Belgrave

Political activist and lawyer, Christopher Ram, has threatened to file legal action against several government officials who are functioning as party agents for the APNU/AFC coalition.

In a letter dispatched this morning, Ram warned these officials that they should not receive salaries for their posts in public offices.

The letter was sent to AFC General Secretary and former Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, former Housing Minister Annette Ferguson, former Junior Minister Simona Broomes, Director of Sport Christopher Jones and Ryan Belgrave from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport – all of whom are currently active in the ongoing national recount as party agents for the incumbent coalition.

However, Ram reminded them of their oath to “honour, uphold and preserve” the Constitution of Guyana.

According to Ram, while Article 219 (3) Constitution of Guyana proves for them to carry on in their public offices and for the Finance Minister to access funds for their salaries, their current function as party agents in the recount exercise is not catered for.

He said: “I am satisfied that that function does not constitute public services as contemplated and defined in the Constitution. Accordingly, any payment to you and any receipt by you would be a violation of the Constitution, the country’s supreme law, as well as the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.”

As such, Ram notified these officials in the letter that he will be bringing legal action against them to return of all public moneys they improperly received and for other sanctions as the court thinks fit, as well as against persons making the payments.

See full letter: 2020-05-015 Letter from Christopher Ram