Minority Assemblyman Farley Augustine has called on the PNM to pull up its socks as its internal wrangling is now affecting the work of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA). Augustine, the electoral representative for Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside, implored PNM to put Tobago first.
The ramifications of the PNM internal election have spilled into the THA as there is now a fight to oust Kelvin Charles as Chief Secretary. Charles, who lost to Tracy Davidson-Celestine in a runoff on January 30, has said he will not be resigning despite calls from his new political leader to do so.
During the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) bi-weekly news conference at the Minority Council Office in Scarborough on Tuesday, Augustine said the current stand-off in the PNM Tobago Council over who should be Chief Secretary, is affecting the people of Tobago.
“The PNM’s internal elections, or rather their rumblings, have become Tobago’s business because we have a situation where the work of the assembly is being overshadowed.
“This is me giving a call to those on the other side, who unfortunately are in charge of Tobago by virtue of being in charge of the Executive Council, to please get this right quickly so that we can move on with Tobago’s business.”
Augustine noted the last four weekly post-executive council media briefings were cancelled and said that did not augur well for a democracy.
He said PDP members had opted, mostly, to stay out of the PNM’s business.
“On one end, the Chief Secretary Mr Charles is holding on. On another end, it seems as if aspirant (Deputy Chief Secretary) Joel Jack wants the chair and then we are learning that there is a massive push for (assemblyman) Ancil Dennis to be the chief secretary. Quite frankly, we don’t care because at the end of the day those in the majority would decide who would be the chief secretary.
“The Minority does not have the votes nor the power to have a determination in that regard, but we are saying the PNM must call itself to order quickly, so that we can get down to governing Tobago the way we ought to govern Tobago.”
Augustine said he hoped his advice was not interpreted as him intruding on PNM business.