Newly-elected People's National Movement (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.
Davidson-Celestine, TT's Ambassador to Costa Rica, received 3,050 votes while Charles got 2,042.
"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 get 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 challenges posed by the Watson Duke-led Progressive Democratic Patriots and the One Voice coalition party.
One Voice comprises Tobago Organisation of the People leader Ashworth Jack, Platform of Truth leader Hochoy Charles and Tobago Forwards leader Christlyn Moore.
"The PDP will be a challenge for the PNM moving forward. You cannot discount that. And then there is also One Voice, which, literally, is a coming together of some of the opposition parties. Whether Watson Duke will join with them, whether there is a unification of the opposition parties in Tobago, that will present a formidable challenge for the PNM. We will have to wait and see how that plays out."
Ragoonath said the results of last week Sunday's internal election showed there was "a move against Charles.
"It was simply a matter of finding the right candidate. And with the runoff, he lost. So, it was really expected."