Outgoing Political Leader of the Tobago Council of the PNM, Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles said, he was demonized during the campaign.
Losing in nine out of the 13 polling stations throughout Tobago, Charles eventually lost to Tracy Davidson-Celestine by 1,108 votes. He received 2,042 votes, while Davidson-Celestine received 3150 votes. Speaking to reporters after his defeat on Sunday night he said, he was personally attacked.
“My performance was not discredited. In fact they stayed far from commenting on my performance, but they attacked me viciously and everybody knows that, but I am happy that my campaign did not sink to their level, because at the end of the day, I shall continue to hold my head high and that of my team. I did make the point, that how you campaign is how you would govern, so let’s wait and see” Charles
In conceding defeat he also said, he respects the voice of the people of Tobago
“Well of course I would be a bit disappointed, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. The elections were free and fair and therefore the people of the party in Tobago has spoken and I have every obligation to respect their voice” he said.
Meanwhile, newly elected Political Leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine denied such allegations. She said, all issues would be dealt with so that the party could move forward for the greater good.
“The thing is, this was a competition, an election and quite a number of things would have been said and of course the position was to show that each and every candidate is the best person for the job, but I am of the view that there wasn’t anything said that would cause animosity within the party and I believe that within the shortest possible timeframe we can treat with whatever issues we have and move forward towards the greater objective,”she said.
In accepting the historic win as the first female to Leader of the Tobago Council of the PNM, since it’s establishment 21 years ago, Davidson-Celestine Celestine said, her first order of business was to bring reconciliation to the party. She also thanked Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus and Joel Jack for their support ahead of the runoff.
“As part of my manifesto I have a 100-day plan, mission-critical which seeks to bring together all of the leaders, which seeks to bring together all the different officers, especially those who would have lost in this election and of course to have our conference between Tobago east and Tobago west, so at least we could start the process of mending whatever divide and filling whatever gaps that exist within the membership of the People’s National Movement,” she said.
Davidson-Celestine added this year was critical for the party, as they had both the General and THA elections ahead, and she wanted to ensure that they were organized in a particular way to bring victory to the people of Tobago.
Reporter: Cassandra Thomson-Forbes