Innovative Democratic Alliance (IDA) political leader Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus has said the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) should have consulted with Tobagonians before deciding to realign boundaries to create 15 electoral districts for the upcoming THA election.
On Wednesday, the draft EBC (Local Government and Tobago House of Assembly) (Tobago) Order 2021 was passed in the House of Representatives by a simple majority. It paves the way for a fresh THA election with 15 electoral districts to break the six-six tie between the People’s National Movement and the Progressive Democratic Patriots after the January 25 poll.
Twenty-one PNM MPs voted for the government motion to adopt the EBC’s report and 18 opposition MPs voted against. There were no abstentions.
Tsoiafatt Angus told Newsday, “The fact that there was no consultation in Tobago held by the EBC, to outline the process and have a greater understanding of the needs of Tobagonians concerning representation, speaks volumes and may even be considered disrespectful. We are a people who like to be consulted about our space and definitely about our future.”
But she said the IDA was confident Tobagonians were not foolish and will make up their minds on the process used to achieve the 15 seats.
"The IDA calls on Tobagonians to stand together for the message to be clear that we must not be ignored.”
Tsoiafatt Angus said the party will contest all of the 15 electoral districts.
She urged Tobagonians to grasp this opportunity to work together in building a strong society that will become “a model of true democracy, where active participation in decisions on our future is the norm and where we can look forward to an improved standard of living for all by creating an efficient public sector and a thriving and growing public sector.”
She said the issue is not Parliament’s approval of the EBC report but about “making a decision without the engagement of Tobagonians on the alignment for 15 seats and expected elections by the middle of November.”