Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) member Farley Augustine has defended his party's choice of venue – Magdalena Grand Beach & Gold Resort – for the launch of its general election campaign on October 27.
He was responding to criticism, in some quarters, that the launch should be held in East Tobago, the PDP's base.
The party, led by Watson Duke, was formed before the 2016 Tobago House of Assembly election.
It won two of the 12 electoral districts in the Assembly – Roxborough/Delaford (Duke) and Speyside/Parlatuvier/L'Anse Fourmi (Augustine).
The party also has a minority councillor in the Assembly, Dr Faith BYisrael, who had unsuccessfully contested the Goodwood/Belle Garden electoral district in the election.
Duke has said the party will contest all 41 constituencies – including the Tobago East and West seats – in next year's general election.
Acknowledging the party's base is in the east, Augustine said, however, the PDP is a Tobago party.
He added the party chose the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Lowlands, because "we want to demonstrate that."
Augustine added, "We needed a venue that can house large numbers indoors due to the possibility of rain and be close enough to Tobago West so that those from the west can find it easy to participate. The base from the east will be coming to the west."
Augustine said while the rally will be held at the Magdalena, the follow-up summit for the ratification of the party's constitution and the election of executive members will be held in Tobago East. So, the rally in the west and the summit in the east.
He said party members also felt "we needed to not just have a rally but to treat our die-hard supporters, many of whom were victims of PNM political oppression because they support the PDP.
"The ultimate venue selection was made by the membership of the party and the Tobago diaspora arm of the party."