The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) has expressed confidence it will capture all 12 electoral districts in the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections.
In a press release, the party said it hosted its first virtual general meeting on November 3, attended by close to 90 of its National Executive Council Action group and regular members from the 12 districts on the island.
It added that the meeting included addresses from the chairperson of the 12 action groups as well as deputy political leader Farley Augustine and chairman Dr Sean Nedd charting the way to the elections.
“The 12 action groups have indicated strong confidence in the potential candidates for this THA and their abilities to win all 12 seats, as they have been connecting with people from the various districts.
“All members agreed that governance in Tobago has been less than acceptable over the past 20 years, and this island deserves better,” the release added.
The party was expected to list its 12 candidates on Thursday, but Augustine said that a decision was made to make the list available on Monday at a 10 am press briefing.
“At this point, we have our 12 candidates and we’re actually preparing something extra, extra special. We are being extra strategic this round, and I have something extra special to give to you on Monday,” he said.
He noted that an independent screening committee, excluding any members of the party's executive, screened all 33 potential candidates over a week from October 11.
He added that in one instance, the screening committee chose one individual, and the action group chose another.
“In a situation like that, the executive had to meet and make a decision as to which of the two candidates would be the best. Of course, we made a decision that we thought would be best for the party and best for the people of Tobago. At the end of the day, we are looking for candidates that would provide a kind of service, that would provide good quality service and professionalism.
“This round is not really about the ‘rah rah’ politics, this round is not about the hype, this rounds it has to be about how do we fix Tobago,” he said.
With the assembly turning 40 in a few weeks, Augustine feels the island could have done better in the last 40 years.
“When you arrive at that juncture in your life, it is the time when you have to sit back and look back and consider what you have achieved, what you have not achieved.
“Similarly, as an island, we have to sit down and think about what we have achieved and not achieved at age 40 and where we need to go at age 40. I think at age 40, we have to start to do better than we have done before.
"I am not going to be the politician to come here and try to make everybody believe that nothing has happened in the last 40 years or nothing has happened in the last 20 years, but I want you to know that we can actually do better than we have done in the last 20 years. We haven’t achieved our best as yet and in order for us to achieve our best, it means that we collectively have to do better.”
The PDP holds two of the 12 electoral districts. Augustine represents Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside, and political leader Watson Duke represents Roxborough/Delaford.