So many 'what-ifs' in Debe South by-election

THE EDITOR: On February 7, three parties – the PNM, UNC and PEP – will contest the local government by-election for the Debe South seat vacant after the death of councillor Singh on February 14, 2021.

Battle lines will be established and the three parties will tell their supporters that victory "is booked."

But what are the consequences if voters decide to buck the trend? What if the relatively new PEP wins?

A little over a month ago, the PNM fortress in Tobago was blasted to smithereens with a significant and crushing 14-one loss at the hands of the PDP. This defeat came even with the PNM having enjoyed consistent success in the past and with all its political munitions and elaborate propaganda.

Perhaps we didn’t expect such a massive defeat of 14-one, but the writing was clearly on the wall after the six-six tie in the January 2021 polls. People grew tired of the status quo and made a radical choice.

This is not foreign to us because Basdeo Panday himself once said that politics has a morality of its own.

Now we look to a UNC fortress in the Debe South seat, situated in the UNC's heartland. A loss here will resonate similarly to that which took place across the waters in Tobago on December 6.

And what of the PNM? It is a party in existence since 1956 and is well versed in fighting elections both at national and local government levels. The PEP ought not to be seen as a pushover either.

A UNC defeat in this local election could send a message that the party is not on solid ground and its chances of winning a general election look bleak and very slim.

This could be the political litmus test for the UNC, to remain and maintain its grip with its voting bloc. But times are changing and so are people, as could be seen in Tobago. If the UNC is clean-bowled in Debe South, then "crapaud smoke their pipe" and leadership change could become imminent.

The chant “Rowley must go” is gaining momentum, but the PNM should not be discounted. Can the PNM overthrow the UNC in Debe South? Does the PEP have enough testicular fortitude to penetrate Debe South with full force and break into the UNC fortress?

So many permutations from one by-election.

No one can accurately predict who will win Debe South, but a PEP win could send the UNC into a coma, just like what the PDP did to the PNM in Tobago.


New York


"So many 'what-ifs' in Debe South by-election"

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