Newly-elected PNM Tobago Council political leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine must put the party on a strong footing if it is to compete successfully in this year’s general election and in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election, constitutionally due in 2021.
This is the view of political scientist Dr Bishnu Ragoonath as he weighed in on Davidson-Celestine’s victory over Kelvin Charles in Sunday’s runoff election.
“She will have to look at how the party could retain the two seats it has for the general election and then move straight into the THA election. So, the PNM has a lot of work to do in Tobago,” Ragoonath told Newsday.
“She has to ensure that the candidates nominated and then selected gets the support of the rank and file of the membership of the PNM. That, I think is the big issue here, how fast all of that will happen.” The Tobago East and West seats are held by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy and Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe, respectively.
Ragoonath said before Davidson-Celestine strategises for the two elections, she must bring about healing within the party. Davidson-Celestine has said the establishment of a reconciliation committee is part of her 100-day plan. He also said the party also cannot turn a blind eye to the challenge the Watson Duke-led Progressive Democratic Patriots and One Voice is likely to pose ahead of the two elections. One Voice comprises Tobago Organisation of the People leader Ashworth Jack, Platform of Truth leader Hochoy Charles and Tobago Forwards leader Christlyn Moore.