Duke confirms opposition Tobago parties in unity talks

Leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Watson Duke has confirmed that opposition parties in Tobago are holding talks to form a political entity to fight the People's National Movement (PNM) in the Tobago House of Assembly elections due in 2021.

This follows a call by Wendell Berkeley, Vice Chairman of the PNM's Tobago Council, for all opposing parties to declare their political allegiance. 

Speaking at the Tobago Council's press briefing at the party’s headquarters in Scarborough on Wednesday, Berkeley said political parties are again “teaming up” to beat the PNM. 

Prior to the 2017 THA elections, unity discussions between the PDP and Tobago Forwards (TF) failed.

Berkely called on the leaders of the PDP and TF to be “open”  about whom they were allied with. 

“What is Ms Moore’s party allegiance? We also need to have Mr Duke declare his hand? Are you part of the unity or not? Be honest and fair with the people of Tobago, let them have a fair chance of assessing you and assessing the company you’re in and then decide,” Berkeley said.

Responding to Berkley's statements, the Tobago House of Assembly's Minority Leader Duke said the vice-chairman should "know his place."

“They have not even contested nor won a seat nor represent people. Whom do they represent? Nobody!” 

Duke said the PDP has been having talks with various stakeholders and political organisations in Tobago, to narrow the gaps that separate them. 

“We believe that if we are able to unite in Tobago we can best represent all Tobagonians. This is something which Tobago has been crying for ... and demanding.” 

 Christlyn Moore, former TF leader, also fired back. 

“Until the PNM government answers questions without being taken to court, until they can answer the population’s questions about Sandals and about procurement for the Galleons Passage, they don’t get to ask me anything.”

- by Loyse Vincent

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