Opposition accuses Gov’t of rushing Bills through Parliament

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Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo and other PPP MPs
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo and other PPP MPs

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is not too happy with being given short notice of what will take place on the December 17 sitting of the National Assembly.

A press statement from the office of the Opposition Leader on December 15 noted that after 13:00 hrs on Tuesday, PPP Parliamentarians received copies of Bills slated for first reading on the Order Paper for the December 17, 2015 sitting.

According to the statement, the package also contained a motion to be moved by the Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo suspending the Standing Orders to allow for all three Bills to go through all three stages during the sitting. The motion had received the leave of the Speaker.

The three Bills listed in the motion are the Municipal and District Councils and Local Authorities (Amendment) Bill No. 14 of 2015, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill No. 15 of 2015 and the Anti-Terrorism and Terrorist Related Activities Bill No.16 of 2015.

According to the PPP, “none of these Bills were seen before this afternoon and although they were dated as being gazetted on December 9th and 10th, none has been posted on the Official Gazette Guyana website nor on the Parliament of Guyana website.”

“This is a flagrant violation of parliamentary democracy which is premised on, this the highest law making body, being able to scrutinise and examine legislation as well as to provide ample time for the public to know what business is before the National Assembly and to be able to be informed and to exercise the freedom to express their views on these matters before the House,” the statement noted.

The statement further noted, “In particular, a cursory glance of these Bills is revealing- the first Bill, Bill No. 14 with regards to Local Government Elections (LGE) increases the number of signatures required to support a political party list under Proportional Representation.   These amendments essentially make it extremely onerous or may even deny smaller parties from participating in the LGE. These amendments are undemocratic and must be opposed by all.”

“The second Bill, Bill No. 15 has also not been made public and therefore has not been given adequate time for scrutiny by Members of Parliament nor the public and civil society. One has to ask why the rush on this new AMLCFT (Amendment) Bill when the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs has denied that Guyana is not compliant with FATF? Why isn’t there the same urgency to set up the AMLCFT Authority and the FIU as provided for in the government’s AMLCFT Amendment Act 2015.”

“The third Bill, Bill No, 16 is a brand new 98 page bill which again no one has seen. Due to the nature of the bill, developments in other countries on terrorism and concerns with human rights here in Guyana, this Bill should be properly and publicly scrutinised in a Parliamentary Special Select Committee.”

According to the PPP, this move by the government to deny scrutiny and to rush through these Bills further exposes the new administration for its undemocratic actions.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Let them pass the bills Your turn is going to come. They are only making it better for you in the future.Their own dog is going to bite them.What goes around comes around. Who laughs last laughs the best.

  2. Why is the AMLCFT Bill coming back to Parliament?? According to APNU/AFC this Bill was the best because it had the blessings of the then Charge ‘d affaires of the US Embassy. The AG also kept saying to the Guyanese people that Guyana is not on the black list. It is now clear that the AG like his other colleagues, Jordan, Harmon, Nagamootoo etc. etc are just a pack of liars and fakes. Parliament is now a rubber stamp. These same folks (current Govt) opposed an AMLCFT Bill prepared by the PPP/C that met all international standards. They took a trash Bill to FATF which was rightly rejected. We are in for troubled times because Guyana is now run by some incompetent and strong headed goof-offs. I call on the Press, especially that dumb-ass lady from Stabroek News who speaks with an accent to question the AG on this Bill, the same way she likes to interrogate Mr Clement Rohee.

  3. ”In short, Jagdeo and the PPP can say whatever they want, the coalition is not afraid of anything, including loss of power. The coalition may well have devised an iron clad strategy to this end”.
    That coming from Emile_ Mervin is absolutely no surprise. This action by this administration that discards parliamentary norms clearly shows the direction they are going, surely to the days of the Burnham dictatorship. Like IDI AMIN, the PNC led administration will railroad every piece of legislation in order to get their way. Yes Mervin, you are correct; the iron clad strategy is nothing different from that which the PNC practised under Burnham and no one dared protest. Where is the democracy? Where is the good governance? When in opposition they preached about these night and day, year after year. Now they are in the seat of political power, they have discarded all these into the garbage bin. The ”honourable house” has been transformed into a FARCE, a Circus.

  4. I am slowly coming around to the notion that the coalition is governing on the basis of getting a message to Jagdeo that as long as he is in the running for the presidency again, the rules of engagement are changed dramatically to allow the coalition to do whatever it wants. In short, Jagdeo and the PPP can say whatever they want, the coalition is not afraid of anything, including loss of power. The coalition may well have devised an iron clad strategy to this end.

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