A large group of PNM supporters gathered at the Tobago council office at Pump Mill Scarborough, for the second day of the final round of screening for prospective candidates in the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly elections.
However, unlike the first day several of the nominees were accompanied by large groups of supporters who escorted them to the entrance before screening and celebrated loudly as their pick for Area Representative emerged after completing the screening process.
One of the most sought after seats on the PNM slate was in the Roxborough/Delaford Electoral District.
Political leader of the PDP Watson Duke currently holds that seat. Today three nominees screened for the chance to unseat Duke.
One of the nominees, former PNM Senator Nadine Stewart Phillips described the process as a “cordial conversation.
She spoke about what she hopes to bring to the residents of Roxborough /Delaford.
She said: “Im hoping to bring, youth am Im hoping to bring experience having served as a representative for all of Tobago in my capacity as both Secretary and Assistant Secretary in the Tobago House of Assembly.”
When asked if she saw Duke as a formidable opponent Stewart said she looked forward to challenge.
Her opponent Neil Beckles said he has several plans for the area
“Lets start with a transport hub we need a transport hub to the inner parts of the island like Charlotteville and the North East end of the island. We need sporting academies, for too long sport development has been suffering in that area.
“In terms of economic development, we could make better use of the Rain Forest especially for Eco-Tourism,” he added.
Beckles said he is looking forward to increasing Agriculture, Housing, Entrepreneurship and re-establishing the Kendal Farm School.
When asked if he saw his intention to do so much for the area as admitting that the current administration has failed the Roxborough/ Delaford district he said,
“No not at all these are outstanding matters.”
When asked to comment on the statement made by Beckles, Area Representative, Watson Duke said Beckles clearly does not have an understanding of how politics works.
“The Tobago PNM is just a cog in the wheel and any major decision must be made by the Political Leader of the PNM who is controlled by an interest group,” Duke said.
Duke said he doesn’t see any of the nominees as a threat as whomever the committee selects “has already reserved second place–after me.”
The current THA Chief Secretary and representative for Buccoo/Mt Pleasant Ancil Dennis, also face the screening committee. His nomination is uncontested.
Based on feedback from the nominees the average duration for each session was about thirty minutes. Screening was also done for the Plymouth / Golden Lane Electoral District, where Marisha Osmond went up against Melissa James Guy.
Former chief secretary Kelvin Charles did not seek re-election for the Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden Electoral District. Kelvon Morris went up against Learie Paul for that district.
Meanwhile, Marslyn Melville Jack screened against Dr Denise Tsoiaffatt Angus for the Scarborough/Calder Hall Electoral District and in the Providence / Mason Hall / Moriah Electoral District, Sheldon Cunningham faced Kwasi DesVignes.
Political Leader of the Tobago Council of the PNM Tracy Davidson Celestine said the final list of candidates will be made available to the media before the end of the week.