Several social justice groups and two major business organizations have piled on the pressure on embattled Jamaican member of parliament, George Wright to resign from the Jamaica Labour Party.
Wright is alleged to be the man caught on video in a violent altercation with a woman.
Although the Westmoreland MP has not been charged, Wright has withdrawn from the Government Parliamentary Caucus and was later granted a leave of absence from the House. But advocacy groups say this is not enough.
Over the weekend, the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal, the National Integrity Action, Jamaicans for Justice, the Institute of Law & Economics and Stand Up For Jamaica released a joint statement calling on Wright to resign.
“For the last two weeks, Jamaicans at home and abroad have had to confront in their own minds the question of whether George Wright was guilty of a violent and barbaric physical attack on a woman. Many have framed the argument solely around the CCTV footage of the altercation, which rendered both parties unidentifiable. Others have either incorporated or ignored pertinent circumstantial facts to justify their conclusion,” the groups said in a joint statement.
“This call, however, is being made on the strength of official statements made by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the JLP,” said the joint statement.
“Like all accused of a crime, Mr Wright is afforded the Constitutional right to not self-incriminate. However, in choosing silence, he has understandably eroded our trust and impaired the confidence of the public that he is paid to make laws and policies for,” the groups said, adding that “Mr Wright does not possess the fitness to lead in the House of Representatives… and must resign with immediate effect.”
On Monday, two additional groups from the business community also called on Wright to resign.
In a joint statement, the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce said that the viral video allegedly capturing Wright seared fear into the minds of countless Jamaicans. The statement says it is not enough for Wright to take a leave of absence.
“The sheer and sustained brutality that was on display was outrageous at first sight. That outrage was exacerbated by the allegation that the perpetrator was a member of the nation’s Parliament.
It is the view of the JCC and the PSOJ and its member associations that if the allegations regarding the identification of the assailant in the video are true, that the Member of Parliament should do the honourable thing and resign his seat in Parliament,” the statement read.
In the meantime, members of the diaspora are also putting pressure on the MP to resign. An online petition demanding Wright’s resignation has gotten over 3,000 signatures within the last week.