By Casandra Thompson-Forbes
Kelvin Charles and Tracy Davidson-Celestine will go head to head in a run-off for the leadership of the Tobago Council of the PNM. The announcement was made around 7:30 pm yesterday.
This is the second time that Charles and Davidson-Celestine would be engaged in a run-off vote. They challenged each other in the 2016 internal elections when Charles was victorious.
Kelvin Charles received 1,513 votes, Tracy Davidson-Celestine got 1,447, Joel Jack 1066 and Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus 904. Results of other 16 positions were expected to be released later last night.
However, the election had its set of challenges, as counting at the various polling stations were suspended around 4 am on Monday, after polling agents worked through the night counting thousands of ballots.
The Tobago Council of the PNM transformed its Scarborough office into a makeshift polling station, as tallying of the ballots continued.
Chairman of the Elections Supervisory Committee Alvin Pascall said the decision was made to safeguard the welfare of the personnel.
Following the announcement of the results Pascall said, the party has learnt from their mistakes and the next time around the one man, one vote process for all 17 executive positions would be easier
“It is easy to do now, all you have to do is to ensure the people who would be counting if they are sufficient and a little bit more supervision of them and we should be able to get out of them a speedier completion of the counting of ballots,” he said.
Questioned on if they underestimated the feat of the one man, one vote for the 17 candidates, he said more infrastructure could have been put in place.
“I would say yes and no. I would tell you why no, we had enough polling stations, but there could have been more, we could have had more polling booths within the polling stations, so those are ways we will do to make the election easier” he said.
On Monday, the four candidates vying for the leadership of the Tobago Council of the PNM met with the Prime Minister and Political Leader of the PNM Dr Keith Rowley. Former THA Chief Secretary Orville London, former party Chairman Neil Wilson, incumbent Chairman Stanford Callender were also in attendance.
Sources say the group was called together to discuss the way forward for the party. They are also expected to hold a joint press conference on Tuesday at the Magdalena Grand Hotel at 10:00 a.m. The aim of the forum is to update the media on the recently held PNM Tobago Council Internal Elections.