The Guyana Government, in the absence of the political opposition, has wrapped up the work of the Special Select Committee tasked with the Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill and is currently finalizing its report.
This was confirmed by Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, yesterday who said that the Bill will be returned to the Full House for a debate as early as possible.
Contacted yesterday for a response, A Partnership for National Unity’s Joseph Harmon said that the opposition will not be voting in support of the Bill taken to the House by Government because it did not have an input.
He said that Gail Teixeira “eyes pass the opposition.”
Teixeira is the chairperson of the Special Select Committee and would have been the person to move to have the Committee wrap up its work and return the amendments to the Bill to the Full House for a debate.
The Alliance for Change has also signaled its non support for the Bill to be returned to the House without the input of the political opposition.
Asked to defend Government’s decision in the face of the possibility of the Bill not being supported by the political opposition, Dr. Luncheon told media operatives, Government has an obligation to pursue the enactment of the Bills before the November 18 deadline.
He said that he is still hopeful that the opposition would be supportive of the amendments to the Bill when it comes up for a debate and vote.
Dr. Luncheon suggested that fear of what the opposition could do, cannot overcome what would happen should the Bill not be amended and Guyana becomes blacklisted.
“We have an obligation to this nation to pursue an enactment to avert the dire consequences,” said Dr Luncheon.
Dr. Luncheon said that it was the recent warning by the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce (CFATF) that has prompted the government to go ahead and push for the passage of the Bill even in face of the possibility of the withholding of support by the political opposition.
Asked about the warning that CFATF had issued, Dr Luncheon told media operatives that some of what has been forewarned is already becoming a reality. Some countries are already taking action against Guyana in relation to financial transactions.
Should the sanctions be imposed, Dr Luncheon said that it would indeed see external entities such as Governments and financial institutions exercising a level of caution, “a level of increase surveillance, indeed to render most difficult Guyana’s financial institutions and its engagement with its counterparts in the region and further afield.”
“The sum total of the correspondence that was read to the Committee laid bare what were the eventualities facing Guyana on November 18, in the absence of enactment of the amendment Bill,” said Dr Luncheon.
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