Hochoy Charles condemns THA election of 'deception and lies'

Hochoy Charles  -
Hochoy Charles -

Former chief secretary Hochoy Charles is describing the upcoming December 6 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections as one of “deception and lies.”

At the One Tobago Voice (OTV) office in Scarborough on Wednesday, Charles argued that the passage of the autonomy bill should precede Tobagonians returning to the polls to break the current six-six electoral tie.

Charles, who had called for a boycott of the January 25 THA election, again made a case for Tobagonians not to vote.

He told reporters: “It does not make any sense going back to the polls to deal with the deadlock.”

He said when the autonomy bill is eventually passed (the legislation requires a constitutional majority), Tobagonians will have to return to the polls.

The report of the joint select committee, which reviewed the Constitution Amendment (Tobago Self-Government) Bill, was debated in the House of Representatives in June. The legislation is meant to give Tobago greater autonomy in managing its affairs, including certain law-making powers.

During the debate, the Opposition called for greater consultation arguing that the bill does not reflect the wishes of Tobagonians. The Opposition later walked out of Parliament prior to the vote being taken, after the Prime Minister was granted an extension of his speaking time. The bill is currently at the committee stage.

Charles said, “Where we are now, nothing has changed.

"So, the election that you are now involved in on the sixth (of December) has nothing to do with Tobago, and it’s a senseless election.”

He added: “We should have been speaking with one voice – we were going to, if we stop that election. If we took that position where we not participating in mockery and everybody agrees that the election is a waste of time and a mockery, we would have taken the government to the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations complaining that they are running a colony in Tobago in violation of international law – that is there is writing.”

He wondered what autonomy would look like under the the People’s National Movement.

“The autonomy that they say they require is the one that all of us oppose..."

He said Tobagonians must be the one one make "all the decisions on sensitive, crucial, life-and-death issues to the people of Tobago.

"We want that power – it must come to Tobago.”


"Hochoy Charles condemns THA election of 'deception and lies'"

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