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Pastor Terrence Baynes

The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) has joined forces with the Tobago Forwards to take on the Peoples National Movement (PNM) in the next Tobago House of Assembly elections.

Deputy Political Leader of the PDP Farley Augustine made the announcement as he revealed the PDP’s slate of candidates, on social media yesterday.

The actual event was held at a classroom in Speyside where Augustine said, “We are coming to you humble in a simple classroom where I began my journey as a teacher.”

Among those who will be contesting seats, Pastor Terrence Baynes who was recently appointed the Political Leader of the Tobago Forwards.

Attorney Christlyn Moore formerly held the position before she resigned on September 30.

The Tobago Forwards was formed in 2014 and during last THA elections held in 2017, the political party gained a total 3,352 votes to place third among parties just behind the PDP with 7,537 votes. The PNM retained control of the Tobago House of Assembly with 13,310 votes. However, the voter turn out was recorded as only 50 per cent of the electorate which stood then at approximately 48,980.

Guardian Media contacted Pastor Baynes on his decision to join the PDP in the lead up to the next THA elections.

He said both parties have been in discussions for some time to look at what’s best for Tobago.

“The Tobago Forwards is not fully operational at this time, myself and other members decided that the best thing to do is what’s best for Tobago, but the end goal is to create a united platform that will do the work,” he said.

In May of 2019, the Tobago Forwards formed another coalition with the Tobago Platform of Truth led by former Chief Secretary Hochoy Charles, and the Tobago Organisation of the People led by Ashworth Jack. The new party, then, was called the One Tobago Voice. Pastor Baynes said this union between the PDP and the Tobago Forwards is much different than the one which led to the One Tobago Voice.

“Following the initial engagement, the new organisation was never fully constituted in terms of steering committee appointing key positions in the party, further to that there were also some misgivings in the philosophy of the party on a whole.”

Meanwhile, Augustine said an independent process was used to select the screening committee as well as the candidates.

He said, “That the screening committee did not include any member of the executive of the party, it did not include any candidate in the election and we did not want our personal biases to reflect on the process.”

Augustine added the party also sought to select more women to contest seats with 24.3 per cent of its slate being women.

He explained that gloablly almost 25 per cent of all parliamentarians are women and research from the United Nations has shown that a greater number of women in local politics increase the chances of development.

The PDP Candidates for the next THA elections

Parlatuvier/L’anse Fourmi/Speyside -Farley Augustine

Goodwood/Belle Garden West- Dr Faith B. Yisrael

Buccoo/Mt Pleasant – Jamie Baird

Bethel/Mt Irvine – Pastor Terrence Baynes

Lambeau/ Signal Hill – Wayne “Wasp” Clarke

Belle Garden East/ Roxborough/ Delaford – Watson Duke

Plymouth/ Golden Lane –Zorisha Hackette

Scarborough/ Calder Hall – Trevor James

Bacolet/ Mt St George – Megan Morrison

Providence/ Mason Hall/Moriah – Ian “Whitey” Pollard

Canaan/Bon Accord – Joel “Nuttsy” Sampson

Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden –Abby Taylor