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New Law Association head in court for Guyana Govt
Newly-elected president of the Law Association, Senior Counsel Seenath Jairam, had his first day in court yesterday since being elected to the post, not at the local bar but in the Guyana jurisdiction as a lawyer representing the Donald Ramotar administration. The Guyana-born attorney was elected to head the association last Friday in a contest which saw him victorious over fellow Senior Counsel Israel Khan and Stanley Marcus.
Jairam was retained by the Guyana Government in a case which challenges the constitutionality of cuts in the budget for the Office of the President, courtesy Opposition amendments during the April 2012 national budget debate. The combined Opposition has a one-seat majority in the 65-seat National Assembly.
The Opposition Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance for Change (AFC) had opposed significant allocations to the office of the President and imposed deep cuts on several line items, including state media expenditure, advisory functions and a free laptop programme.
The ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is contending that the sole prerogative of the parliamentary Opposition is either to support or oppose budget proposals and not to impose cuts as occurred during the budget debate. Legal arguments began behind closed doors and before Chief Justice Ian Chang in Georgetown yesterday. Local journalists have been trying, unsuccessfully, to find out the level of fees being charged by Jairam and the Government’s legal team.
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