Williams, Nandlall, Teixeira & Nagamootoo go head to head over Anti-Terrorism Bill

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By Jomo Paul

Attorney General, Basil Williams
Attorney General, Basil Williams

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Attorney General, Basil Williams says that despite wide reports in the media, there were consultations on the Anti-terrorism Bill that was read for a first time in the National Assembly on December 17.

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) made scathing criticisms against government, alleging that the APNU+AFC administration failed to consult on the new legislation.

Before Williams rose to make his statement, Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira had blasted the government for “bulldozing” democracy.

“This is a travesty, the government cannot state what is the emergency with passing these Bills,” said the Chief Whip later adding, “We expect the government will do as they like to do – you got the majority so bulldoze it through.”

She stated that the Government has not been able to provide any reason for wanting the Bills to go through Parliament in one sitting.

PPP Parliamentarian, Gail Teixeira
PPP Parliamentarian, Gail Teixeira

“He can spin; he’s a spin doctor. I was expecting some spinning but he ain’t even spin; he just read the motion and sit down…It is a parliamentary travesty…we object sir, we object most strenuously,” she stated, referring to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

She then called on the Prime Minister to “do the honorable thing as the leader of this house and withdraw the motion.”

However, AG Williams later rose on the floor and stated that several bodies in Guyana were consulted on the Bill. Those bodies include but are not limited to the Commissioner of Police, the Guyana Revenue Authority, PSC, the Central Islamic Association of Guyana (CIOG) and the Guyana Bar Association.

The Attorney General stated that those Associations were emailed with a copy of the Bill and asked to offer comments since July 5, 2015.

Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo
Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo

“Everything is brand new to them where democracy is concerned – this is not no old Bill or unfamiliar Bill – this is a PPP Bill…It has 58 clauses and only two clauses are relevant to the process so all the other clauses were introduced by the Honorable Member Mr Rohee; that is why it is the Rohee Bill,” said Williams.

He also explained the government’s rush to pass the Bills through Parliament, noting that Guyana has to comply with certain regulations in the Americas Regional Review Group of the international financial regime monitoring body.

“So Mr Speaker, this Bill has to pass before the end of the year,” said Williams adding “We have sufficient justification to do the people’s business and not cause any mayhem in Guyana.”

He said the Government would not allow the Opposition to stymie Government’s approaches to regulate Guyana under the international financial regime.

“All it was, was a great hoax,” he said referring to claims of non-consultation.

Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall later retorted that “sending off some emails to selected organizations,” does not amount to consultations.

“Today they are telling the GHRA and they are telling the private sector that they are not entitled to two seconds of consultations…this approach is totally inconsistent with what they advocated for in the Opposition, it is against the constitution, it is undemocratic, it is authoritarian,” said Nandlall.

Former AG, Anil Nandlall
Former AG, Anil Nandlall

Meanwhile, Nagamootoo later rose stating that it was government’s business to protect the State and doing so meant passing these Bills into law.

He said that statements that the there were no consultations on the Bill are not “only misleading statement, it flies in the face of truth.”

He argued that it is totally irresponsible to come into this August Assembly and make baseless allegations.

“The question of bulldozing has no merit whatsoever. They want to use the Parliament to frustrate the people’s business – the government’s business,” said the Prime Minister.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Nagamootoo is an opportunist who is now caught in a corner. Let’s see how long he will continue to support such arrogance and disregard for democracy that is being meted out by this APNU government. He must be a fool if he thinks he can be influential in major governmental decisions as part of this ‘coalition’ .

  2. It seems like the ppp want to delay the bill to allow their friends, cronies and themselves to dispose of their ill-gotten wealth before they can be brought to justice under the law of the bill.

  3. ”……….this is not no old Bill or unfamiliar Bill – this is a PPP Bill…It has 58 clauses and only two clauses are relevant to the process so all the other clauses were introduced by the Honorable Member Mr Rohee; that is why it is the Rohee Bill,” said Williams.
    SO WHY THEN DID YOU NOT SUPPORT THAT BILL IN THE FIRST INSTANCE WHEN IN OPPOSITION?

  4. The coalition regime claims to be seeking an inclusive path while actually contradicting itself.
    I am no fan or supporter of Jagdeo and his minions, but this development is about the missing principle of inclusive governance the coalition argued for on the campaign trail.
    Ironically, some folks blindly support the opposition while others blindly support the coalition, thus making both sides feel empowered in their selfishness and arrogance.
    It took Jagdeo a few years before his true colors emerged. It has taken the coalition seven months, and we still have 43 more months to go.

  5. When will this Defacto Government stop with their bullish approach in the house???? While in Opposition and on the campaign trail they indicated to their supporters that they were going to different with their approach. We were constantly reminded how they people will be engaged and how transparent they were going to be if elected. Now that they came through the back door with a 1 seat Majority they feel Guyana belongs to them only. No one else matters. Fellow Guyanese prepare yourself for more. This is only the beginning.

  6. CIOG is now a pawn of this dictatorship. Since when CIOG people became experts on Bills? Why weren’t Hindu and Christian organizations consulted?

  7. Williams should be the last fox to be involved in terrorism issues. Maybe Felix might have done a better job in that position but he is now pre occupied to control the births and deaths register and ultimately the voters list …

  8. Williams, Nandlall, Teixeira & Nagamootoo go head to head over Anti-Terrorism Bill
    The people aint get the idea as yet that once you are installed by the US you do as you like and you tell the populace to suck a lemon.

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