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PNM confident of THA sweep...again

COREY CONNELLY Sunday, January 8 2017

Political leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council Kelvin Charles yesterday expressed confidence that the party will retain its 12 seats in the January 23 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election.

However, in the same breath, he said the party was not leaving anything to chance and was putting in the work on the ground.

“We are confident but one cannot take things for granted,” he said ahead of the party’s campaign launch and presentation of candidates rally, today, at Old Market Square, downtown Scarborough.

“Notwithstanding, we are doing our work because we are confident that the vast majority of the people in Tobago would recognise that what we have done over the last 16 years (at the helm of the THA) would have been a tremendous amount of work.

“I don’t know that Tobagonians would want to risk the quality of life they now have and put that in the hands of those who have very little in respect of governance.” The election is also being contested by the Tobago Forwards, Progressive Democratic Patriots and Movement for Transformation, led by former Tobago East MP Eudine Job-Davis, which is contesting just three electoral districts.

Charles, a former THA Presiding Officer, became political leader of the PNM’s Tobago Council, last July, after beating rival, Assemblywoman Tracey Davidson-Celestine, in a run-off election.

Charles said the PNM’s slate of candidates for the upcoming election was a mixture of youth and experience __ a situation which he felt augured well for its chances in the poll.

“Our team is a balanced team of youth and experience, persons who were previously members of the assembly returning,” he said.

“One cannot say that for any of the opposing teams and therefore we have a decided advantage. We can continue to hit the ground running but everybody else would have to start from scratch.” Charles, who is listed as one of the speakers at the event, told Sunday Newsday that the campaign would focus heavily on its achievements in office over the past 16 years. “These are some of the things we would point out to the people.: We do not want to slow your growth at this time and that they should ensure, if anything, that growth and development is expedited and promoted vigorously.

“I think we are poised better than any (other party) to do that,” he said. Encouraged by its landslide victory in the 2013 THA election, Charles said the PNM’s core message on the campaign was enhancing delivery and strengthening partnerships.

“We would campaign on our record of achievements, the quality of that stewardship and we would treat with issues relative to the future plans, those that are currently under way and what we have for the future,” he said, adding that crime and security along inter- island transportation was also an issue.

“Going forward, in respect of our inter-island transportation, we will ensure that security procedures are stepped up by subjecting vehicles and passengers to searches and security checks so as to minimise the transporting of illegal weapons,” he said.

“We will continue to engage the Police Service in Tobago to update the crime plan in Tobago and ensure that we go toe to toe, if not stay ahead of the criminal element.” Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and THA Chief Secretary Orville London are also expected to address supporters at the event. Entertainment will be provided by Delamo (Franz Lambkin), Peter C Lewis, Mitchilla Williams and Fya Empress, among others.

A mass meeting has also been planned for Roxborough, in Tobago East next Sunday.





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