Tracy enters THA this week

Tracy Davidson-Celestine talks to the media after being elected the PNM Tobago Council's first female political leader last month. - DAVID REID
Tracy Davidson-Celestine talks to the media after being elected the PNM Tobago Council's first female political leader last month. - DAVID REID

In what can be regarded as her first major move since beating Kelvin Charles in the January 26 People's National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council runoff election, the party's new political leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine is expected to be appointed a councillor in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) on Thursday and not today, as was originally planned.

This means that one of the three current PNM councillors in the THA – Dr Agatha Carrington (Health, Wellness and Family Development), Kwesi Des Vignes (Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment) or Nadine Stewart-Phillip (Tourism, Culture and Transportation) – will be removed to accommodate Davidson-Celestine.

The former Speyside/L'Anse Fourmi/Parlatuvier representative, whose resignation as TT's Ambassador to Costa Rica, took effect on Saturday, also is to be made a THA secretary.

During a news conference at the PNM's Tobago headquarters on February 11, Davidson-Celestine said the details of the portfolio she is likely to take as secretary would be "conveyed to the public at a later date."

This has not materialised.

PNM sources also have been tight-lipped about who is likely to be replaced as councillor and the roles, if any, Deputy Chief Secretary Joel Jack and former THA presiding officer Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus will play in the Assembly's future.

There has been speculation that Jack, who is also the Secretary for Finance and the Economy, may be given the nod to become Chief Secretary.

Regardless of how it plays out, there will be a shake-up within the Assembly as Charles is expected to step down as Chief Secretary on April 1, without completing his full term.

However, it is unclear as to whether he will retain his position as Secretary for Education, Innovation and Energy or be shifted to another division. Calls to Davidson-Celestine's cellphone went unanswered on Friday.

Davidson-Celestine became the party's Tobago council leader with the support of Jack and Tsoiafatt-Angus, both of whom had unsuccessfully contested leadership in the January 19 internal election

Charles, who beat Davidson-Celestine in a runoff in the 2016 internal election, has vowed to work with her towards a smooth transition of leadership as the party prepares for the upcoming general election and THA election, constitutionally due next year.

This, despite rumours of tension between them.

"We have agreed that there will be regular meetings between Davidson-Celestine and myself so we both can be kept apprised of the happenings at the level of the party and at the level of government," Charles said at the February 11 news conference.

Davidson-Celestine has promised to establish a reconciliation committee as part of her 100-day plan as leader to assist with the party's healing process after her slate won five of the 17 seats on the council's executive. A date for the installation of officers is yet to be announced.


"Tracy enters THA this week"

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