May 21, 2013 News
The Alliance for Change (AFC) says it will only reverse its position on the proposed amendments to the country’s law on financial crimes if President Donald Ramotar acts to root out corruption.
The party is adamant that it will only vote in favour of the amendments if the President appoints the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) and rethinks his decision not to give effect to Bills passed in the National Assembly.
“The AFC is of the view that one of the best methods of stamping out money laundering is to turn off the taps on the “illicit proceeds” which come from many sources.
“One of these sources is the illicit funds associated with contracts awarded to friends at amounts several times the real market value,” the party said in a statement.
The AFC said that if the PPC is established, it will go a far way toward weeding out these illegally earned funds thus contributing to less money being laundered.
The government has heavily criticized the AFC for its position, mainly on the grounds that Guyana would be placed on an international blacklist if it does not amend the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill.
The Bill is before a Parliament Select Committee, but with the major coalition bloc APNU pulling out yesterday, the fate of the Bill seems doomed for failure; at least it may not make the deadline the government proposed. But then again, APNU can abstain in the National Assembly.
The AFC said that it is as deeply concerned as the Private Sector Commission, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other organisations about the potential blacklisting of Guyana.
The government needed the Bill passed before the end of the month when the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force carries out its review in Nicaragua.
But the party said that this concern is overshadowed by the Government’s repeated opposition to the establishment of constitutionally mandated organs like the PPC coupled with the President’s “promised and delivered obstruction to the legislative agenda of the majority of its citizens.”
The President has refused to give his assent to the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Bill and the Former Presidents (Facilities and Other Benefits) Bill, saying that the Bills are in conflict with the constitution.
Khemraj Ramjattan, leader of the AFC, has said that the position of the President is outrageous and that the argument about the constitutionality of the Bills is “wholly unmeritorious” and “totally ridiculous.”
“It might have escaped our collective attention that the apparent ‘crisis’” can be easily resolved without further delay by His Excellency complying with the constitutional obligations by establishing the PPC and assenting to the bills, and have his most willing Attorney General challenge them in the appropriate forum afterwards,” the AFC said.
The party said that the lack of enthusiasm to repeated calls for good governance, greater transparency and a commitment to greater overview of the use of taxpayers’ money by the Executive, long ago brought the country to crisis status, “and to permit the continued degradation of any crisis in governance of this country is simply unacceptable and irresponsible.”
The party noted that while some agencies have been expressing concern about the possible non-passage of the amendments to the anti-money laundering Bill, those very agencies did not express similar concern about the establishment of mandatory constitutional bodies and “assumption of judicial office” by the President when he pronounced on the legality of the “opposition Bills”.
According to the AFC, the ruling PPP failed to establish the PPC in the Ninth Parliament and now seems unwilling to establish it in the current Tenth parliament.
The party said that it finds this unacceptable and has demanded that the PPP submit the names of their nominees to the Commission, “as an act of good faith to energize any alternative AFC position on this Money Laundering Bill.”
The AFC noted that the government was fully aware since May 2011 that the Money Laundering Amendments were required when the Mutual Evaluation Report [MER] on Guyana was adopted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force [CFATF].
Since then, Guyana was placed on the “expedited follow-up list” which required that they report on the progress they have made in implementing the recommendations of the MER at every plenary session of CFATF.
Since May 2011, Guyana was cited on three occasions for minimal progress.
“So why this emergency now when our Ministers of Government spent many hours in the studios of NCN engaging in nasty political propaganda rather than at their desks doing the Government’s work?
“The facts remain that it is the PPP Ministers who are solely responsible for the impending black-listing of Guyana and not the AFC,” the party stated.
The AFC said that it continues to support comprehensive financial reforms in Guyana, as it believes that money laundering is a scourge to be eliminated and will continue to support any national effort at “removing the comingling of the proceeds of crime with the income of hard working citizens of the Republic.”
Jun 23, 2021Kaieteur News – The Guyana Badminton Association Team of President Gokarn Ramdhani, Vice President Ayanna Watson and Secretary Emelia Ramdhani along with National and International Champions...
Kaieteur News – I met Leyland DeCambra at the beginning of the 70s. It was a friendship that has lasted ever since.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders More commonality was shown by CARICOM countries in a vote on Tuesday June 15 at the Organisation of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]