THE Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) has broken its silence.
The party’s chairman Dr Sean Nedd said he stands in defence of the stability of the organisation, days after its political leader Watson Duke began publicly criticising the PDP-run THA and Chief Secretary Farley Augustine’s leadership.
The public feud began after Duke slammed the THA for “neglecting” 27 members of the Roxborough Folk Performers by leaving them “hungry” and allegedly sleeping on the streets in New York.
Augustine has denied Duke’s version of events and promised to review his responsibilities as Deputy Chief Secretary.
Delivering a statement during the Tobago Updates morning show, on Wednesday, Nedd said the party has strongly noted several recent actions between the two men. He said the national executive council is greatly disappointed by and rejects all attacks on its political leader and founder.
“It must be the norm that in spite of disagreements with the political leader, the role and functions of the political leader must be respected as the individual with the burden of setting the strategic direction of the party and by all accounts, the political leader has been successfully accomplishing this end,” Nedd said.
However, he hastened to add that the aims of the party are bigger than the THA.
“The aims secured Tobago and also include securing its interest within Trinidad with Trinidadians. The role and functions of the National Executive Council must be respected.
"The NEC has a key role to ensure that any entity operating under the banner of the PDP conforms to ideals and mandates of the party and that includes the THA. We simply remind that all dignitaries within the THA signed on with the blessings of the NEC and the mandate of the party and the people.”
He said the PDP and its executive must maintain order in its ranks like any other party and will consider discipline actions for the deputy political leader, if needed. He said in the interim, the party will continue to encourage discussions and compromise “as this has always been the sensible route to dealing with any of our issues internally.”
He said teething issues are expected especially as the PDP is “a young party.”
“The PDP is no different, this PDP has adopted ideals that many people have found favour with and wish to be associated with. The party has grown quickly and there will be changes and disagreements, as is the nature of different people and personalities. What must remain consistent are the ideals of this party.”
He said it is through this frame that all its members interact, noting that all parties, young and old experience such issues.
“However, the PDP would never be a one and done group, its leadership recognises the importance of organisation, respectful leadership, communication with the people and most importantly accounting for the needs of the people who voted and did not vote for us.
"In all that is going on, we in leadership roles must remember the people, the people who put their trust in us and we must take care of people who voted for the first time, the non-voters and the people that see us as being the better alternative.”
He has assured the PDP remains the right choice for Tobago.
“Of course, the PDP has work to do. We battle an administrative system that sabotages us along with a list of bad and absent policies left in the wake of the former party in power. Still, we commit to you...the PDP will continue to persevere in all our efforts including the pursuit of governance in Trinidad.
"This party has always maintained a dignified approach to handling all of our issues.”