G’town Chamber disappointed by hold-up of security bills

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is troubled by the combined opposition parties’ decision to block the advancement of proposed security legislation and has urges them to reconsider their actions for the benefit of the nation.

Last Thursday, APNU and the AFC used their combined majority to block the second readings of four bills tabled by Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, in keeping with their policy of non-cooperation with the minister.

The four bills were the Evidence (Amendment) Bill 2013, the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2013, the Fire Service (Change of Name) Bill 2013 and the Police (Change of name) Bill 2013.

The GCCI, in a press release, said it would appear as though the opposition parties are prepared to withhold their support from any bill despite its merit or substance, once such bills are presented by the minister.

“We would humbly urge the combined opposition to rethink this strategy if indeed that were the case.

No one benefits if critical security upgrade legislation are shunned on such grounds,” the chamber said, adding that this is in the wake of the Speaker of the National Assembly ruling that the minister can present bills in the Parliament.

It added that it believes that the bills are intended to enhance the security sector—a major issue of concern to the private sector and the wider society.

As a result, the group urged that dialogue and engagement be the cornerstone of Guyana’s parliamentary democracy.

“Both the ruling party and the opposition have an obligation to ensure constructive and careful examination of all bills presented in the House with the aim of  arriving at consenting positions and to allow for the passage of such bills thereafter,” it said.

APNU and the AFC passed a motion of no confidence against Rohee last year but their calls for his resignation or sacking have been resisted.

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