GEORGETOWN, Guyana CMC – The relationship between the government and the opposition has widened further after the opposition used its slender majority in the Parliament to defeat anti-money laundering legislation that the Donald Ramotar administration said was necessary for the country’s socio-economic development.
President Ramotar now says he is re-considering taking back the olive branch which he had handed thrown out to the opposition at the start of his presidency.
He told reporters that he was disappointed with the development in the Parliament on Thursday night when the opposition legislators from A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (SAFC) withheld their support for the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill.
“All hope is now lost that the opposition has any intention in being a partner in developing our country. It is in this context that I am forced to re-examine our government future relationship with the opposition parties,” he said.
President Ramotar said he had been holding discussions with the opposition on nurturing political trust and creating an enabling climate for consensus building.
He said there can be no question on his government’s commitment and pointed to numerous engagements where the Government has been the one making all the reasonable offers.
“You would recall that we had several discussions with them when we were putting together our first budget in 2012. We stuck to our side of the agreement at all times; the opposition never stuck to any of their agreements…in the budget talks we were the ones making all the compromises,” President Ramotar said.
Members of the main opposition had six months ago agreed for the legislation to go before a special select committee.
But when the vote came up in the National assembly late Thursday, the opposition, which controls a one seat majority in the 65-member parliament, withheld their support for the legislation.
Ramotar said that he would not limit his interaction with the opposition on issues that are constitutionally mandated.
The government said despite the failure to pass the legislation it would be represented at the CFATF meeting on November 18.