George Wright is no misfit as an independent MPTuesday, June 22, 2021
All who study the Constitution of Jamaica will note that it does not recognise any political party; it recognises Members of Parliament and their respective constituencies.
In fact, in our first election in Jamaica under universal adult suffrage, December 12, 1944, five independent candidates won their seats and sat in Parliament equally with those who ran on Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and People's National Party (PNP) tickets.
The independent Members of Parliament were Enos Phillip Reynolds, representing Clarendon North Western; Fred L B Evans, Westmoreland Eastern; H E Allan, Portland Eastern; Joseph Z Malcolm, Hanover Eastern; and William M Dickson, Hanover Western.
Westmoreland Central Members of Parliament George Wright will sit in Parliament as an independent Member of the Lower House. He will not be a misfit, but will be fully in line under the Constitution of Jamaica.
He has made it clear that he will not bow to pressure mounted against him by the Opposition, civil society groups, and the strong feminist groups demanding his resignation from the Parliament of Jamaica on allegations that he was seen in a video beating a woman. I suspect that his strength is deeply rooted in the fact that people who support him are not making such call.
Central Westmoreland was the most loyal PNP seat in the parish of Westmoreland. Since 1944 the constituents have voted JLP only two times — 1980 when there was a national swing from the PNP under the late Prime Minister Michael Manley because of the fear of Jamaica being made into a communist State, and in this recent election when Wright shocked both the JLP and the PNP by winning the seat.
The PNP lost the seat because of three main reasons:
1) The constituents became unhappy with the PNP because they have been taken for granted over the years, with no development in Westmoreland Central to match their loyalty to the party.
2) Wright won the confidence of a number of first-time voters and was fully in charge of the grass-root voters.
3) The Andrew Holness factor: Many people switched allegiance because “Andrew remind me of Michael Manley”; “He is doing a good job”; or “I am trying Andrew.”
Most people in Westmoreland, in commenting on the allegations of Wright, argued, “He is not the first and only Member of the House to beat a woman; it has happened on both sides of the House; the only difference is these were not captured on video for public viewing.”
I think, under the circumstances, enough punishment has been given to the Member from Westmoreland Central by being shut out from his political party. Plus, he got a battering from the women's groups. I do not believe in judgement without mercy; I believe in giving a second chance.
Dr John D Kelly
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