PDP to name THA election candidates on Thursday

FILE PHOTO: Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke, centre, with his deputies Dr Faith BYisrael (right) and Farley Augustine outside the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough, earlier this year. -
FILE PHOTO: Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke, centre, with his deputies Dr Faith BYisrael (right) and Farley Augustine outside the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough, earlier this year. -

The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) held its screening for the THA election with zero fanfare, but PDP deputy political leader Farley Augustine has denied claims that the party is being secretive.

In September, the PDP opened nominations for the THA election, due in 2021.

Contacted on Tuesday, Augustine said an independent screening committee, excluding any members of the party's executive, screened all 33 potentials over a week from October 11 .

“Everyone was screened and then they went to their respective action groups for consideration. After that the executive sat and considered the report and made a final determination.

"We have 12 candidates. We are currently waiting on the background checks to come back in.

"The announcement is set to be made on Thursday of this week at 10am,” he said.

Augustine said the executive was expected to host a virtual general meeting with party members on November 3. He said after candidates are announced the party will host a prayer service over the weekend.

“Sometimes one must strategise without a lot of noise, but we are prepared and ready,” he said.

The PDP holds two of the 12 electoral districts on the island. Augustine represents Parlatuvier/ L’Anse Fourmi/ Speyside, and political leader Watson Duke represents Roxborough/Delaford.

Commenting on the nomination process, political analyst Shane Mohammed said while quiet campaigning is good, the electorate should be kept updated on what is happening.

“You should be hearing something. They should at least be having a cottage meeting here or there, they should be having a rally here or there.

"But I have a feeling that they did not engender public confidence by losing both seats in the general election and they are still sceptical as to Farley’s leadership role,” he said.

He said the issue of leadership in the party is yet to be settled.

“There needs to be a clear statement. If (PDP and Public Services Association leader Watson) Duke is focusing on the public sector election (PSA's November 23 election) let him focus there.

“Start building some level of pomp and expectation...

"I won’t doubt it that the young lady from Tobago West, Tashia Grace Burris, I won’t doubt it that she becomes a candidate for the THA election. If she becomes a candidate for THA, that is a plus for them.

"I also expect Faith (BYisrael) to be a candidate as well. Those are two strong women.

"All Farley needs to get is nine more competent people of reputation and build a team that people would gravitate towards.

"But we’re not hearing (any)thing and I don’t think now is the time for silence.”

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