Two People’s National Movement (PNM) party groups are expressing dissatisfaction with the steering committee’s selection of candidates for the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly elections.
They are threatening to withhold their votes, which could cause the party to lose the two electoral districts of Canaan/Bon Accord and Scarborough/Calder Hall.
The Canaan/Bon Accord group has written to the committee querying the reason for the delay in naming the incumbent Clarence Jacob as the candidate.
In a signed petition dated October 27, the group sent a warning.
“ There is a groundswell of persons not willing to vote for any other candidate who may be chosen by the selection committee.”
They also said selecting Jacob was part of the “properly executed election process among the constituency party groups.”
They claimed that there were persons who had set out to discredit Jacob.
“ In the weeks leading up to the selection of candidates Mr Jacob was unfortunately and unjustly subjected to damaging public slander by a group of individuals who have made a targeted effort to sully his name,” the authors of the letter claimed.
In the Scarborough/Calder Hall area, some members said choosing the incumbent Marslyn Melville -Jack over Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus is a betrayal.
They said Tsoiafatt-Angus supported the party’s leader in the one-man-one-vote January 2020 internal election race, giving her the nod over then-leader Kelvin Charles.
Candace Nichols of one of the members of the PNM Scarborough/Calder Hall groups said the feeling is that selecting another candidate will cost the party the seat.
“Now if you look at the statistics from the last election, it was the lowest in Calder Hall for Mrs Melville-Jack, persons decided to stay at home and not vote. This time around it will not be so it will be a lot different because people are willing to ensure that this is a seat that they lost,” Nichols said.
The party’s island council leader Tracy Davidson -Celestine said there is a place for everyone in the party, even if they were not selected as candidates.
Yesterday, she announced 11 of the 12 candidates representing the party in the elections.