With 24 hours to go before the internal elections for Tobago Council of the People’s National Movement (PNM), all four contenders for the post of Political Leader are confident that they will be victorious at the polls.
Tracy Davidson-Celestine, Joel Jack and Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus are aiming to unseat the incumbent and Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, all in effort to lead the Tobago arm of the party.
Close to 10,000 members are expected to go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new executive, 16 other positions are up for grabs
Speaking on the Morning Show on i95.5 on Friday, former Presiding Officer of the THA Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus said, party faithfuls are disenchanted, but if given the opportunity to lead the party, she would do so with integrity
“It’s no secret to anyone, I mean why would you have four people in a race if people did not hear of the disenchantment to some extent of the party and therefore yes, they have been a little bit disenchanted and after talking with them, many of them are saying they hope I’m not coming to give any empty promises and I would say to them, I have no promise to give you except that I promise to be inclusive, I promise to be fair, I promise to lead by example and with integrity” she said.
Deputy Chief Secretary Joel Jack said if he is successful, special focus would be placed on the youth within the party
“While doing canvassing, going house to house, they are leading the charge and that is part of my policy moving forward, young people would be at the forefront. They would have a seat at the table, they would be part of the decision making, young people would be part of the planning process, leading and visioning the party moving forward”
“When I came into the party, it was a time the party was examining and looking in a very strategic manner outline the way forward and when I came in I was part of thinktank team to come up with new ideas, to refresh, refashion and refocus the party” Jack said.
Meanwhile, Ambassador to Costa Rica Tracy Davidson-Celestine said, her team is working to have an inclusive movement, which values the opinions of all stakeholders
“I think it all started with the ‘Fresh Face Fresh Start’ mission and vision and the crafting of the message that was used in the last election and quite a lot of us who gave support to the campaign. We were very confused as to what fresh face, fresh start meant and in the rolling out of that vision, we recognized that the approach was not one that signalled an all inclusive, democratic approach to the decision making processes within the People’s National Movement and because of that mantra coming from the leadership, we are seeing the party membership falling away by the wayside. The members, in my walks throughout the length and breadth of Tobago, we are saying we feel as though we are no longer the heart of the PNM. We want to go back to the values that people like you once held dearly” Celestine said.
Incumbent Kelvin Charles promised continued positive and honest governance.
“They will see that Team Kelvin 2020 and Beyond is the real team, is the only team and that is the team that will provide and deliver critical and positive governance for the people of Tobago. Honest and transparent governance for the people of Tobago that will provide the kind of environment that will encourage the flourishing of key initiatives related to entrepreneurship to the Tourism Sector, to manufacturing and those things that we say the economy of Tobago in the short to medium term will be built upon” Charles said.
The 13 polling stations spread throughout Tobago, will open tomorrow morning (Sunday) at 8am and close at 6pm.
Questioned on the readiness ahead of tomorrows polls, Alvin Pascall, Chairman of the People’s National Movement’s (PNM’s) Elections Supervisory Committee, said things are in place and would be ready for Sunday.
“Everything is supposed to be in place between now and Sunday. Polling Stations are being fully equipped as we speak. We have just under ten thousand registered voters and we anticipate about sixty per cent of that coming to vote” Pascall said
He said, the 2016 Internal Elections saw a voter turnout of approximately 40 per cent.