GTUC issues strong warning to Opposition not to support AML Bill


By Fareeza Haniff

President of the GTUC, Lincoln Lewis. [iNews' Photo]
President of the GTUC, Lincoln Lewis. [iNews’ Photo]
[] – The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has issued a strong warning to the combined political opposition not to support the Amendments to Guyana’s Anti – Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill.

At a press conference on Tuesday, February 25, President of the GTUC Lincoln Lewis told reporters that the Union will review its relationship with the Opposition if they vote in favour of the Bill at the next sitting of the National Assembly.

“Any act by the Opposition to pass a Bill without having the government respect existing laws, implement outstanding agreements and assent to outstanding Bills would be seen by the Labour as an act of treachery,” Lewis said.

He is of the view that the government is not be trusted and recalled several agreements signed which have not been implemented by the administration. One such agreement is the commitment by government to the Supreme Court to re – issue letters to start arbitration proceedings into the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI).

“The PPP has a record of untrustworthiness. What the administration has not refused to pass, it has refused to implement. Unless the Leader of the Opposition is prepared to take the people to the streets to acquire what’s rightly theirs, he cannot rely on any agreement signed by the PPP,” the GTUC President told reporters.

According to Lewis, the GTUC met with the Opposition recently and made its position known.

“We are not urging them not to support the Amendments. We are TELLING them not to support the Amendments. If they support the Bill then we will review how we deal with the Opposition in the future.”

Guyana is on the verge of being internationally blacklisted if it does not amend the current Anti – Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill.

Legislators have until May 2014 to reach consensus on the Amendments and to receive the blessings of the National Assembly.

However, Lewis when questioned on the deadline told reporters, “I am not concerned with deadlines.”

He believes that there will not be any major impact on the country if the amended Bill is not supported and passed in the National Assembly.


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