The Progressive Democratic Patriots(PDP) says its six members, elected as assemblymen following January 25, 2021, Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections, won’t stand-by anymore to begin serving their constituents.
Furthermore, the party has created an alternative Executive Council to do as such.
The council will begin work from Monday.
Farley Augustine, one of the party’s representative leaders, said this yesterday at a media conference.
Augustine said the party made efforts to resolve the deadlock brought about by the PDP and People’s National Movement (PNM), winning six seats each in a 12-man Assembly.
He said although the PDP put forward a solution to resolve the deadlock, the PNM has acted like it is “fearful” of the PDP and not aided in the common governance issue.
Augustine said the PDP is as yet open to negotiations with the PNM however should hold the current executive, ruling Tobago dependent on the 2017 THA elections results, accountable.
He said he will head the alternative council. He is the alternative Chief Secretary and responsible for the Finance and the Economy.
Augustine said Dr. Confidence B.Yisrael is alternative Secretary for the Divisions of Health, Wellness and Family Development and Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries.
Pastor Terance Baynes will head the Community Development and Youth Affairs and Sport Division.
Ian Pollard is accountable for the Divisions of Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment while Zorisha Hackett will be responsible for the Divisions of Education, Innovation and Energy and Tourism, Culture and Transportation.
Watson Duke, the party’s chief, will hold no portfolio.
Instead, he will be responsible for another portfolio–The Tobago House of Trade, Augustine says.
He said this new portfolio is a campaign guarantee to represent Tobago in Trinidad.
According to the PDP, in the new portfolio, Duke will focus on “eliminating problems on the air connect; removing value disparities between the Tobago and Trinidad customers ; establishing a substantial market share in Trinidad for Tobago merchandise.”
On the issue of accountability, Augustine said the PDP cannot stand by until it receives another Auditor General’s report on the THA’s spending.
“Throughout the last 16 years we have not had a favourable assessment from an Auditor General yet and so this is the perfect opportunity for us to come together and craft out responsible governance,” he said. he said.
The THA, the base from which all Assemblymen operate, has not been fully constituted as the 12 Assemblymen, who won their seats on January 25th, 2021, couldn’t decide on a Presiding Officer.
From that point forward, the PDP proposed the both parties join to share Tobago’s governance until a resolution is found.
The proposal was proffered at a meeting led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. The power-sharing talks are at a stalemate.