By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Alliance for Change (AFC) has joined with its opposition counterpart – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – to blame the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) for the defeat of the Anti – Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill in the National Assembly last evening (November 7).
To some this may sound conflicting since it was the two opposition parties who by a majority, voted against the passage of the Bill on the grounds that it was incomplete.
“The Government is wholly and solely to be blamed for the fiasco,” AFC Executive Member Moses Nagamootoo remarked during the Party’s weekly press briefing on Friday, November 8.
He expressed the view that the government could have heeded the opposition’s calls to recommit the bill to the Parliamentary Special Select Committee where it spent the last five months under examination and concluded that by proceeding to the final reading despite warnings of non- support was a strategy to politicize the issue on the Administration’s part.
He said “at the last moment the government who claimed to be alarmed by the possible consequences decided to hide, cowardly behind procedures of parliament … it was not concerned with consequences it was concern with propaganda… they have chosen propaganda over patriotism.”
Nagamootoo in reminding of the history of the amendments said it is the government who is responsible for placing the country at risk.
Failure to pass the Bill by November 18 could see Guyana being blacklisted and financial transactions could come under severe scrutiny.
The opposition had accused Government Members on the committee Chaired by Government Chief Whip Gail Teixeira of returning the Bill to the house without its full input and in its absence.
Government argued that it was adequate and accused the Opposition of embarking on a time wasting strategy as the November 18 deadline loomed.
In the end, Government insisted that the Bill will not be recommitted; it was put to a vote which resulted in its defeat.