IDA leader disagrees with Hochoy’s no-vote THA campaign call

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILE PHOTO: Innovative Democratic Alliance political leader Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus. –

Innovative Democratic Alliance (IDA) political leader Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus says she disagrees with former chief secretary Hochoy Charles’ call for a no-vote campaign ahead of the December 6 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections.

Charles, who had called for a boycott of the January 25 elections, repeated his call at a news conference on Friday for Tobagonians not to vote.

“It does not make any sense going back to the polls to deal with the deadlock,” he argued.

Charles said when the Tobago autonomy bill is eventually passed, 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, which requires a special majority is meant to give Tobago greater autonomy in managing its affairs.

But the Opposition walked out of Parliament before the vote was taken. The bill is currently at the committee stage.

At a political meeting in the Scarbrough/Mt Grace electoral district on Monday, Tsoiafatt Angus said she disagrees with Charles.

“While Hochoy Charles champions greater autonomy for Tobago – I have much respect for him in that regard – I have to disagree with him when he calls for a no-vote campaign, because Mr Hochoy Charles is an astute politician and he must know that a no-vote campaign at this time favours the incumbent. That is not an acceptable call at this time,” she told supporters.

Tsoiafatt Angus, who is contesting the Bethel/New Grange electoral district, urged Tobagonians to reject such a proposal

“That is why I am calling on every Tobagonian who can vote that you must vote. This election is no other. This election is one in which a credible leader must be chosen for Tobago.”