Give J'cans the power to recall MPsMonday, June 07, 2021
I ain't no feminist, liberal, or a 'woke' person, but it is clear that the Member of Parliament (MP) for Westmoreland Central George Wright can no longer sit in Parliament.
If George Wright isn't the man in the now-infamous video beating a woman with his fist and a stool, why resign from the Jamaica Labour Party? And why can't we hear anything from him publicly denying the incident?
Currently our Parliament has not passed any laws to remove senators and Members of Parliament for treason, high crimes of misdemeanours, mental illness, and even misconduct that brings one of the highest offices of the land into disrepute. While I understand the arguments of those calling for impeachment laws, I believe to remove a Member of Parliament from office the constituents who elected him/her should have the final say.
I believe most Jamaicans don't buy into the current argument that constituents have to wait upon the prime minister to dissolve the Parliament of Jamaica to have an election. I believe we should allow a petition by the constituents of a constituency to remove a sitting Member of Parliament.
Our democracy is modelled off the Westminster system of governance. The United Kingdom recently, in 2015, amended its constitution to strengthen the ability to remove sitting Members of Parliament. It's known as the 'Recall of MPs Act 2015'.
In the United Kingdom, they need one in 10 voters in that constituency to sign the petition. So take, for example, if Westmoreland Central has 40,000 eligible voters; that means to remove George Wright that petition will need 4,000 of them to sign. We need to establish terms and requirement based on our circumstances.
A petition created by yours truly over a month ago on Change.org calling for Member of Parliament George Wright to be recalled has garnered over 3,500 signatures already, which means the people of Jamaica are opening up to the idea of recalling a Member of Parliament.
The Jamaica Labour Party has 48 seats and the People's National Party has 14 seats in the House, which means one Independent Member of Parliament can't dictate to the majority. The people of Westmoreland Central should be given the opportunity to recall Member of Parliament George Wright.
Ocho Rios, St Ann
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login