Duke: PDP using ‘federal system’ to manage Tobago, Trinidad arms

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) party supporters at the launch of their new Trinidad headquarters on Second Street in Barartaria, last Sunday. Photo by Sureash Cholai

Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke is confident of its chances in Trinidad as his party continues to spread its wings.

Having crushed the once-mighty PNM 14-1 in the THA elections last December, the six-year-old PDP is intent on building on the momentum.

Last Sunday, the PDP launched its Trinidad Council in Barataria.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Rise and Shine Morning Programme on Tobago’s Channel 5, Duke said the PDP already had a following in Trinidad.

“Whenever I walk in Trinidad – east, west, north, south – wherever as PDP, it’s amazing to recognise that there is a level of familiarity. It’s like deja vu.

“The same type of energy that existed in Tobago during the December 2021 elections, it’s the same type of energy and, in particular, there is a kind of drawing from the young people.”

He said the PDP is starting a political revolution.

“Trinidad PDP is Trinidad PDP; Tobago PDP is Tobago PDP. What we are developing here is new politics, what you call a political revolution. We are creating a political revolution, we are creating a federal revolution, so Trinidad is equal to Tobago.

“Farley can’t call no shots on anyone in Trinidad, and nobody can’t call no shots on Farley from Trinidad.”

He said the PDP had a federal system.

“Tobago PDP is not an arm, not a council, I would not refer to any of the PDP as a branch or as a council, that is derogatory. It means that there is something greater.”

He added: “So what we have is Tobago PDP, Trinidad PDP and a federal system that oversees the management of both of them. Tobago is independent, Trinidad is independent, the constitution bears similarities as it bears differences. We have to make room for Tobago’s political status, its cultural, social and economic differences that would dictate how people operate. Trinidad the same thing, Trinidad is a different kettle of fish.”

Duke said, for too long, the country had been thriving on race issues.

“The race issue is out the window and that is what the PNM and the UNC existed on for years. We are not dealing with the race issues. We are dealing with the human-race issues – the issues of health care, employment, education – total reform.”