Dr Maria Dillon-Remy

The Progressive Democratic Patriots’ (PDP’s) victory in Monday’s Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections was not expected by many people, but Tobagonians have clearly stated their desire to manage their affairs in a different manner, Independent Senator Maria Dillon-Remy said in the Senate yesterday.

She congratulated the PDP “for a resounding 15-nil margin.”

The actual winning margin confirmed by the Elections and Boundaries Commission was 14-1.

Dillon-Remy was speaking on a bill for the development, operation and management of special economic zones.

She took issue with clauses proposing that the THA apply to the proposed Zone Authority for licenses to develop land space for Tobago.

“That sort of arrangement is what Tobagonians have been asking to change for the past 40 years,” she said.

Dillon-Remy said she shared Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon’s view that Tobago was a prime economic zone that attracts investment. However, she said the bill disregarded the THA’s functions.

Dillon-Remy said since there was a bill for Tobago self-government, she could not understand why the bill was asking Tobago to apply to a corporate body for permission for a licence to develop special economic zones in Tobago.

“I just don’t understand it,” she added.

Dillon-Remy suggested that the Government consider amending the bill so that it did not apply to the development of economic spaces in Tobago.

UNC Senator David Nakhid also alluded to the election results.

“I think when the honourable Prime Minister, after his invitation to the climate control forum, probably got the mandate wrong. It was to have a greener economy, not a completely green Tobago, which is what happened (Monday),” he said.

“We’d like to congratulate the PDP on an outstanding showing and victory that augurs well not only for Tobago but also for Trinidad and Tobago,” Nakhid added.