TOBAGONIANS are not surprised by Monday’s unprecedented 6-6 tie in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election.
As the unofficial results broke on election night, PNM headquarters in Scarborough was like a wake. In contrast, Roxborough was buzzing with excitement with PDP supporters dancing in the streets.
On Tuesday, at almost every corner throughout the island, the discussion on everyone’s lips was about the result and the significant inroads made by the PDP.
The PNM won the 2017 THA election 10-2 and swept the Tobago East and West seats in the 2020 general election.
Many of those who gave their reactions to Newsday said they were frustrated by the failed promises and the lack of accountability and transparency within the assembly.
Asked if they are willing to return to the polls, most, including those who didn’t vote on Monday, expressed their willingness to do so.
The PDP has made it clear they are not in favour of fresh elections to break the deadlock. Recounts have been called in four electoral districts. PDP leader Watson Duke has asked the PNM to support deputy leader Farley Augustine for Chief Secretary.
Although the EBC was yet to officially declare the result a tie up until Tuesday, Tobagonians seemed inclined to let the PDP take charge of the THA.
One Bethel resident believes Tobagonians have moved closer to the PDP because the island is desperate for change. She said the PNM recent commissioning of the Roxborough hospital, Moriah Health Centre, Scarborough market and Charlotteville Micro-Enterprise Centre, to name a few, did them little favour.
“The PNM kept boasting about what they did for us, they weren’t talking about what they could do to enhance or address issues affecting our lives. What pushed them back is, as a government they are already supposed to provide the needs of the people, it wasn’t a favour to us for our votes.”
She said because PNM Tobago failed to answer questions surrounding projects and alleged missing funds, it cost them the election.
She told Newsday she was not surprised by the results and hoped the PDP could rid the assembly of all corruption.
A Signal Hill resident believes PNM Tobago political leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine wasn’t given a fair chance because of challenges caused by dealing with the covid19 pandemic.
For Kwani Thomas, PDP’s achievements in the election is the beginning of a better Tobago. He said, “I live here all my life and Tobago looks like a shanty town. Right before covid19 hit, a cruise ship came into Tobago and a young couple visiting ask me where Scarborough and I told them we in Scarborough and they were disappointed that this is Scarborough. I felt so shame.
“I’m not surprised by the results. I wanted PNM to loss because they not doing anything at all.”
He said poor infrastructure and unemployment issues are plaguing the island for over 30 years.
“I hope PDP would do a lot better. I don’t expect to see them bring the change we need all at once, but at least initiate the change Tobago is dying for. Once we get that start I think Tobago would be a paradise in the future.”
One small business owner in Scarborough, who didn’t want to be identified, told Newsday, “I am not surprised by the results. A change was really coming…Tobago is untouched, Tobago could be developed only if the right people sit down and do what they supposed to do.” He said infrastructural development must also come with a change in the mindset of all Tobagonians.
PNM supporter David Carruth, in Mt St George, believes a new administration is “a good thing for Tobago” and despite his political affiliation, the island deserves more.
Two other Tobagonians at Louis d’Or, a village after Roxborough, expressed eagerness to see what happens next.
One of the two women said, “I want to see who in the PNM will jump ship to PDP, because we not accepting PNM in this rounds…I’m tired of this saying that this is a PNM country and if you’re not PNM then nothing for you.”
The women praised the PDP for its success and hopes the party will have the opportunity to serve so that the island’s economy can improve. They are both against holding fresh elections.