Linda Persad

As news of the resounding victory of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election spread across Tobago on Tuesday, some residents reacted in surprise.

The one consensus, though, was with the promise by PDP leader Watson Duke to reopen Tobago’s beaches.

Doubles vendor

“It’s about time because when the beach open back, the sales might get better, it might not be how it used to be because COVID is still in the air, but it might be a little better than how it is,” Persad said.

She said she has one employee and hopes she will soon be able to earn more.

She admits she was surprised by the result.

“I didn’t think they would have won it like that but it is good, everybody needs a change.”

She is hoping the party can keep its promise to find jobs for the youths of Tobago.

Canaan resident LANDRUN MAXCIME admitted he was shocked by the result.

Maxcime said he was loyal to the People’s National Movement (PNM) and had voted for them on Monday.

Maxcime said he felt as though his vote was wasted.

“It is what it is, I didn’t expected a total blackout, cause at the end of the day, an opposition is good, at least a 9/5 would have been good, but a total blackout, nah,” he said.

Although he wasn’t pleased that the PNM had lost the election, Maxcime said he hopes the PDP can clean up corruption in the THA.

“First thing he has to do is clean up the mess, it have too much bobol taking place. A bag of promises – for example, the housing taking place it have people have two and three houses from the same government and a lot of people don’t have,” he said.

Maxcime said he has a friend who got two houses in less than eight years while his application has been pending approval for over a decade.

He also agreed with Duke that Tobago’s beaches should be reopened.

“At the end of the day, the beach cannot give you COVID-19, I had a problem with that from the jump. It have people who does come from all over the world to go to the beach,” he said.

KENWIN MARCELLE, however, is worried that reopening beaches will encourage the COVID-19 virus to spread.

He also expressed his wish list for the PDP-led THA.

“They need to work on the roads and some of the prices in the grocery real expensive, they could do something about that,” Marcelle said.

PDP supporter KERRON PRICE was happy about the result. The Mason Hall resident congratulated the PDP.

“We feel satisfied to see that we have a clean sweep with no opposition, so we feel proud and happy,” Price said.

He hopes Duke is able to keep his promise to reopen beaches. Price also wants a revitalisation of Scarborough.

“I want to see them refurbish Scarborough, all those dilapidated buildings, I want to see them revitalise the town and let it be a tourist attraction and comfortable for all our citizens,” he said.

Vendor ELIZABETH FARRELL told Guardian Media she does not believe beaches should be reopened at this time.

“I don’t think is time to open the beaches due to the fact that the cases rising in Tobago and it could be a threat to lives,” Farrell said.

She also wants the PDP to help the less fortunate on the island.

“They need to address the homeless people, it have a lot of food cards sharing and the people who need it not getting it, I trying to start my business and I need help, plenty of the thing they requiring and you not getting it.”