[www.inewsguyana.com] – Residents of Region Two on Friday are demanding that the country go back to the polls if the embattled Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (Amendment) Bill is not passed in the National Assembly as soon as possible.
Speaking at a meeting at the Anna Regina Town Council, one resident said it’s time for a countrywide picketing exercise to register their disapproval of the way the matter is being politicised by the A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) and Alliance For Change (AFC).
According to the Government Information Agency, another resident testified to the difficulties he personally experienced in receiving remittances, and also expressed concern that the non-passage of the Bill might affect parents’ ability to send financial support in a timely and cost- effective manner to their children who are studying abroad.
A pastor, who spoke on behalf of the religious community, said that Guyana being named a non-compliant jurisdiction could have serious repercussions on the various churches that are recipients of financial aid from other international organisations.
Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh urged residents and regional officials of the various political Parties to speak to their leaders since their views can, and should be able to influence or inform the decisions taken by their leaders.
Minister Singh said that there are certain issues that must be placed above the competition of partisan politics and the AML/CFT is one such issue. He spoke of the Belizean Opposition, which recently passed six pieces of legislation in one day to make their country compliant with Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements.
Guyana and Belize are the two countries that were blacklisted by the CFATF in November last year.
“We have an Opposition that is saying that we will not vote for this legislation unless you give us what we want in exchange…it is almost like saying I’m holding a gun to your head and if you do not give me what I am insisting that you give me, I will pull the trigger. That is essentially what is going on here,” Minister Singh stated.