[www.inewsguyana.com] – Government’s Chip Whip Gail Teixeira has challenged all Guyanese to petition the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in recognizing the importance of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Amendment Bill.
Teixeira’s call comes of the heel of the defeat of the Bill in the National Assembly by a majority opposition vote and as Government prepares to present a report to CFATF on the progress in enacting money laundering legislation.
The Government’s Chief Whip was at the time speaking on a live television programme on the National Communications Network (NCN) in the presence of Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and Chairman of the Private Sector Ronald Webster.
Teixeira urged Guyanese to find a way to let CFATF know that the opposition is “against the tide of the international standards and global issues on financial matters, and against the national tide… they have pitted themselves against every single legitimate civil body in this society so it’s now time for the voice of the people.”
Teixeira believes there was never any intention by the parliamentary Opposition to support and pass the legislation. “Each time it was filibustered in the committee to prevent it…My view now is that the leaders of the opposition, APNU and AFC, cannot rationalise anything that has happened. We can criticise them as being anti-national and anti-patriotic, but I think … there is no rationalisation to explain how you could take a country and put it in jeopardy… It’s either sinister, or you want to bring the government down,” she said.
Government was tasked with passing the Bill by November 18. It was returned to the house on Thursday last after spending five months in a Parliamentary Special Select Committee under review.
The Opposition claimed the amendments was incomplete and asked that it be recommitted to the Committee. However, Government proceeded with the final reading of the Bill where it was voted down by a majority opposition vote.
Failure to enact such legislation will undoubtedly have far reaching implications for Guyana, Government had said.