|Tobagonians vote today |
COREY CONNELLY Monday, January 23 2017
MORE than 40,000 voters are eligible to head to the polling booths today to exercise their franchise in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election between the hours of 6am and 6pm.
This, after a procedural blunder, said to have been made by the Office of President and the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), almost caused the election to be postponed, at least by one day.
The matter was resolved in the Parliament during emergency sittings of the House of Representatives and Senate on Friday and Saturday, respectively, to debate on the THA Election Validation Bill.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi had explained that an error was made because the required 21 days from Nomination Day on January 3 to polling day, January 23, could not be met.
The bill was subsequently passed in both houses of Parliament.
Former Chief Secretary and Platform of Truth political leader Hochoy Charles had raised the issue of the blunder, days ago, during a meeting in Golden Lane, noting that it was in violation of Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act.
Four political parties are in the running in today’s THA election: the People’s National Movement (PNM); Tobago Forwards; Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) and the Movement For Transformation (MFT).
The PNM, led by new leader of the party’s Tobago Council Kelvin Charles, is seeking to return to power after the party’s 16-year reign in the THA.
The PNM, Tobago Forwards and PDP are contesting all 12 seats in the THA while the MFT, led by former Tobago East MP Eudine Job-Davis, is fielding just three candidates in the electoral districts of Moriah/ Mason Hall/Providence; Black Rock/ Whim/Spring Garden and Belle Garden East/Roxborough/ Delaford.