No hiccups in TPP internal election

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Christlyn Moore. –

Voters braved the bad weather as they participated in the Tobago People’s Party (TPP) first internal election on July 7.

The election was scheduled for June 30 but had to be postponed to July 7 owing to Hurricane Beryl.

Voting took place across seven polling stations across the island: the Bon Accord Primary School, Dixieland Pan Theatre, Calder Hall Multipurpose Complex, Delaford Anglican School, Goodwood Secondary School, Black Rock Multipurpose Facility and the Mason Hall Community Centre.

The nominees for the 12 executive positions included THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine and Secretary of Community Development, Youth Development and Sport Joel Sampson, who were both unopposed for the political leader and deputy chairman posts, respectively.

One voter who wished not to be named said the voter turnout was slow but steady. Several other voters described the process as smooth with no hiccups.

Newsday spoke to two candidates vying for the position of chairman. Speaking with reporters after casting her ballot, a confident THA Division of Education, Research and Technology technical adviser Ann Natasha Second was in high spirits.

“They’re very good. We’ve been campaigning. We had a good, clean and really high-standard marketing strategy and we have good feedback from the ground. So we have high expectations.”

If she wins, Second has already outlined her plans.

“Well, we have a number of things that we want to do in terms of internally: we want to continue to flesh out our structure, so we want to have things like our youth council, women’s council and so on immediately organised. Our action groups have already been put in place, so we want to mobilise persons. We have planning to do – strategic planning, we have outreach programmes and because we come from many different political organisations and some from nowhere, we want to meet each other. We want to get together, and we want to gel as an organisation and get ourselves ready for any elections coming up.”

She said the voting process was smooth and straightforward.

Her challenger Christlyn Moore, former political leader of the Tobago Forwards (TF), also described the voting process as smooth.

Asked about her chances at chairmanship, Moore said: “We’ll see how it goes.”

But, if she wins, she already has a plan.

“The chairman needs to take the party into the future. The chairman needs to make sure that there is a place at the table, not only for the current crop of TPP members, but we need to be prepared for when the party grows, because the party will grow.

“We also need to be prepared for future engagements: this is a political organisation and there are some things that come with that, and so the party must be ready for that.”Those are some of the skills I believe that I have and I would be pleased to bring to the table in this organisation.”

The other contender was THA Secretary in the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Trevor James.

Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection Dr Faith BYisrael and retired assistant chief fire officer David Thomas vied for deputy political leader.

Pearl Alman-George was unopposed for the general secretary position, while Assistant Secretary in the THA Division of Settlements, Public Utilities and Rural Development Orlando Kerr and Nazimoodeen Baksh went head-to-head for the post of party treasurer.

Otis Noel and Alicia Roberts-Patterson vied for elections officer and there were four contenders for the position of membership and mobilisation officer – Ackel Franklyn, Lance Ogiste, Ava McCall and Kelton Thomas.

Arnel DesVignes and Jacqueline Vanessa Adams ran for the assistant general secretary post, while Natasha Legall-Roberts and Marlon Radgman were the two candidates for the assistant party treasurer post.

The post of education and research and training officer was contested by Wayne James, Sean McCoon, Roston Wood and Nevlin Renrick. Tynielle Jack was the lone contender for the post of public relations and communications officer.

Voting was from 9 am-4 pm.