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PNM Tobago East winner Ayanna Webster-Roy after voting yesterday.

Camille McEachnie

For the second consecutive General Election, the People’s National Movement (PNM) won the two Tobago seats – East and West.

Results began pouring in slowly and steadily after voting ended at 6 pm and by 10.30 pm it was clear the PNM had swept the two seats again.

It meant the PNM’s incumbents Ayanna Webster-Roy and Shamfa Cudjoe had staved off the attacks of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) – its closest rival.

The PNM fought hard to convince voters that the PNM was “the right choice” while the PDP’s Watson Duke and Tashia Grace Burris assured voters the PDP would put “people before politics.”

In the end, the electorate chose the incumbents.

Commenting on her win after declaring the seat, Cudjoe said: “The people of Tobago West would have spoken. They would have stood up for no-nonsense. They would have had their voices heard.”

Congratulating Webster-Roy and Cudjoe, PNM’s Tobago Council leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine said she was pleased with the results. She said: “If it were the THA elections, the PNM would have taken 11 of the 12 seats.”

Duke conceded defeat quickly. However, he told his supporters the journey had just begun and they should now prepare for the Tobago House of Assembly elections constitutionally due by January 2021.

According to the EBC, 23,103 people were eligible to vote in the east and 27,686 in the west.

The day’s proceedings, which began at 6 am across the country, saw the Election and Boundaries (EBC) set up polling stations equipped with the usual station personnel and an additional sanitation clerk, in keeping with rules and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Police kept a watchful eye, reminding voters to social distance, sanitise and wear masks in and around the polling stations.

According to Cudjoe, voter turnout was steady and there were many first-time voters in many electoral districts.

The PDP’s Burris said for the most part, the voting process went “smoothly” for PDP supporters.

Also among those who also contested the two seats in Tobago were One Tobago Voice’s (OTV) Juliana Henry-King, Unity of the People’s Nickocy Phillips and independent candidate Ricardo Phillip. These candidates’ meetings and Facebook posts did not attract as many supporters as the PNM and PDP and it showed at the polls yesterday.

The OTV is a coalition of the Tobago Forwards, led by Christlyn Moore, Tobago Organisation of the People, led by Ashworth Jack and The Platform of Truth headed by Hochoy Charles.