Wed | Jan 22, 2020

Wright backs Phillips, his delegates free to choose

Published:Tuesday | August 27, 2019 | 12:23 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

North Trelawny Member of Parliament (MP) Victor Wright says while will be throwing his support behind incumbent Dr Peter Phillips in the upcoming People’s National Party’s (PNP) leadership race, he will not be dictating to the delegates of Region One – who re-elected him unopposed on Sunday – who they should support.

The first-time MP told The Gleaner on Sunday that he did some amount of soul-searching before deciding to support Phillips instead of the challenger, Peter Bunting.

“It is a decision that I did not make flippantly. I studied the history of the party, and in looking forward, in regards to the future of the party. I have concluded that Comrade Peter Phillips is the best person to lead the PNP,” said Wright. “It is my opinion that he has the best chance of leading us into the general election and giving us victory over this uncaring Government.”

Unlike some other MPs who are said to be dictating to delegates who they should back in the race, Wright said his Region One delegates from Trelawny and St Ann are free to support whoever they believe is the better candidate.

“I respect the right of delegates to make their independent decision regarding whom they vote for in the presidential election,” said Wright. “I nonetheless hope that they will follow my lead. My confidence is high that they will.”

....Tread carefully on Cockpit Country

North Trelawny MP Victor Wright, whose constituency is home to a section of the Cockpit Country – around which there is controversy over the potential for bauxite mining – is urging the Government to tread carefully before allowing mining activities in the area or close to the boundary.

“It (the Cockpit Country) is where I was born and raised, and I know of its importance to the livelihood of the residents and Jamaica on the whole,” said Wright. “Over 70 per cent of the yam we export comes from that area.”

The MP said he is particularly concerned about the impact which mining could have on the water sources and the long-term future of the farmers in the area.

“Forty per cent of the water used in several parishes comes from the area. I can’t understand what is in the mind of this Government, which has changed the boundaries to satisfy a maximum of 30 years’ mining of bauxite, which would affect the farmers’ livelihood and prevent them from continuing their tradition of caring for their families by benefiting from the fertility of the soil,” he said.