ASSEMBLYMAN Pastor Terance Baynes is calling for the Tobago Forwards to be subsumed by the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP).
The Tobago Forwards political leader contested and won the Bethel/Mt Irvine seat on a PDP ticket.
Addressing the future of the Tobago Forwards, Baynes said it is his intention to bring the party formally into the PDP.
“A large number of the Forwards members are already members of the PDP. The idea is to have one unit, so that is my desire. It would require, of course, some more conversations and so on, but that is my desire, that the Tobago Forwards would no longer continue as an entity, but rather we shall have a merging of the two,” he said.
Before the PNM announced the date for the election, PDP deputy leader Farley Augustine extended an olive branch to all anti-PNM groups to fight the incumbent under one umbrella.
The Tobago Forwards was the only political party to officially accept that offer.
Why did Baynes choose the PDP as the vehicle going forward?
“The PDP is the most credible political option going up against the incumbents. Their track record and plus their numbers speak to this fact and they would have always had the best chance of winning an election – unseating the PNM,” Baynes said.
He believes the six-six result in the election vindicated his decision to join the PDP.
“We all know that a lot of persons in Tobago desired a united front coming up against the PNM, that the splintering was frowned upon and to be quite honest, it gave the incumbents the advantage.
'So the agreement to work with the PDP and to face the elections under the PDP banner, I believe it was a reflection of the willingness of the organisations to work together, because that was the desire of the people, and secondly, it brought even more strength and even more value to what we were trying to achieve."
The deadlock has left the PNM in charge of Tobago's affairs until a solution is determined, but Baynes discussed what he intends to bring to the THA.
“Fundamentally, it is about justice and equality and equity and those kinds of things.
“I have chosen the Division of Community Development – that is an area that I think I can give tremendous support to,” he said.
Former Tobago Forwards leader and party founder Christlyn Moore, who resigned in October, responded to the latest development announced by Baynes.
"He is political leader of the party, so the discretion to move to the PDP was his with the support of the party," she said.