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–   APNU says it would not be rushed; resumes work in Special Committee–   AFC wants Procurement Commission in exchange for supportIn an unprecedented move, President Donald Ramotar yesterday sent a message to the National Assembly appealing to all sides of the House to urgently review amendments to the law on financial crimes so the country can avoid an international financial blacklist.The two opposition parties which hold the majority in the House are sticking to their position, but neither is interested in rushing through consideration of amendments to the law for the sake of meeting a deadline.President Donald Ramotar“I anticipate that as Guyanese first, and leaders of our political parties we shall not be found wanting“The Guyanese people are watching and trusting that Members of Parliament will stand for country first,” Ramotar said in a statement read by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.The government wanted the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2013 (AML/CFT) passed before it faces the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) I Nicaragua next week.It was hoping the amendments would have been voted on yesterday. Ramotar hopes that a vote can take place tomorrow or at the latest, next Tuesday.A message to the National Assembly by the President is rare. The President, who with the National Assembly makes up the Parliament,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, is usually only heard of when he makes a speech at the ceremonial opening of Parliament just after a general election.But yesterday, the President utilized the provision to send a message to National Assembly in a last ditch effort to simmer a row between the government and opposition sides of the House in order to get the amendments passed.The Special Parliamentary Committee examining the amendments was in a quandary with the largest coalition bloc, APNU, pulling out because the President ducked a letter from the CFATF and failed to share it with the Parliamentary Opposition and other stakeholders.The President has apologized to the Opposition Leader David Granger saying that the “slight” was because of the range of activities surrounding passage of the 2013 National Budget.Granger yesterday said that while he is not satisfied with the explanation by the President, his party would resume work with the Special Select Committee, but would not be rushed into meeting a deadline.Opposition Leader David Granger“We are prepared to give the people of Guyana an Anti-Money Laundering Act they can live with; no matter how long it takes, the public will get a good Act,” Granger told reporters.The seven-seat Alliance for Change (AFC), which holds the balance of power in the House, is sticking to its demands.AFC’s Moses Nagamootoo said the party would give its support if the government provides a definitive deadline for the setting up of the Public Procurement Commission and if the President re-considers assenting to two Bills which were brought to the House by the Opposition and passed.Nagamootoo, also Vice Chairman of the AFC, described the situation as a perfect case of “poetic justice” of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”Further, he said that the government must stop blaming the Opposition for the delay.“We will not carry this cross,” Nagamootoo stated, adding that the ball is now in the government’s court.Minister of Housing and Water, Irfaan Ali,Cheap NFL Jerseys, attempted to have the House debate the matter as one of urgent public importance, but this was ruled out by acting speaker Deborah Backer,NCAA Baseball Jerseys, who cited a previous ruling by former speaker of the ruling PPP, Ralph Ramkarran.She said the matter was not urgent because it has been going on for a number of weeks.Despite the ruling by the acting Speaker, Minister Ali attempted to make what he said was going to be a few comments,Cheap Jerseys, but Backer did not allow him.In his message, the President noted that many other countries in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have also experienced challenges as small and developing countries in meeting the recommendations established by the CFATF/International Cooperation Review Group in order to reduce structural, legislative and administrative deficiencies in the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism architecture and to meet the international standards established to protect the international financial and banking systems.“However,Wholesale Cheap Jerseys, most noteworthy, at crucial times in any of these individual country’s process of review it is instructive to note that their legislatures, comprising both government and opposition, have been able to rise to the occasion and protect national interests and jointly support the amendments to their statutes to reduce these deficiencies,Wholesale Jerseys China,” Ramotar stated.AFC Vice Chairman Moses NagamootooHe said that given the impact on the ordinary people and the economy of the country if Guyana is downgraded, the Parliamentarians should sense a “moral responsibility” to bring Guyana in compliance with the CFAFT recommendations.The Opposition is adamant that the Government’s recklessness in the management of the country’s national and international affairs is what has led to what is being described as a crisis situation, but the Opposition said the blame lies squarely at the feet of the Government for wanting to give the people’s elected representatives dribbles of information.
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