Des Vignes: Don't change hands during pandemic

PNM Tobago Council chairman Stanford Callender, left, and PRO Kwesi DesVignes address members of the media virtually on Monday. - PNM Tobago Council
PNM Tobago Council chairman Stanford Callender, left, and PRO Kwesi DesVignes address members of the media virtually on Monday. - PNM Tobago Council

ALTHOUGH no date has been announced for the THA elections, constitutionally due in January, the People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago Public Relations Officer (PRO) has issued a reminder to all that now is not the right time to change hands.

Addressing members of the media virtually on Monday at a PNM news conference, DesVignes making reference to the current covid19 pandemic said that the covid19 is a real and present threat to all and the government along with the current THA is investing a lot of resources; human and financial into fighting the virus.

He said: “Of course, especially during this time, we can say very confidently that it is definitely not the right time to change hands, not to change leadership because we don’t want any uncertainty at this point in time. The People’s National Movement is ready, willing and very able to continue governing this land and to managing this covid19 pandemic as well as we’ve seen anywhere in the world.”

The PNM currently holds ten of the 12 electoral districts with the Progressive Democratic Patriots occupying the other two.

He noted that according to the THA Act section 22, the Assembly shall continue for four years from the date of its first sitting of any primary election. This current term of the Assembly, he recalled began on January 26, 2017.

“Essentially, the Assembly can continue for four years, unless the Assembly by resolution dissolves itself at an earlier date, the Assembly can be dissolved earlier. The President after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary can fix the date of a primary election, which date shall not be earlier than the expiration of two months after the dissolution of the Assembly nor later than the expiration of three months after that dissolution,” he said.

He added: “So if the Assembly sits until its anniversary in January, then the election can be no earlier than late March or no later than late April.”

Questioned as to if he has given any consideration to contesting any of the electoral districts, DesVignes said he stands ready to serve in whatever capacity if and when called.

“I serve all of Tobago and I continue to be willing to serve... I’m born in Mason Hall and grew up in Moriah, so the reality is that as long as I am asked to serve in whatever capacity, whether it is just as the Public Relations Officer or to chair meetings, or to represent people, I stand willing and ready as always,” he said.

In responding to a question on the confidence of the party heading into the election, chairman Stanford Callender said the PNM’s aim at any election is to be victorious.

“The PNM is always a party that is beaming with confidence. We never go into any elections without the confidence that we know what it is about, and we go in with the confidence to win... We are in it to win it,” he said.

The party’s nomination began and Monday and will run through to October 12.


"Des Vignes: Don't change hands during pandemic"

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