PDP focusing on Tobago seats for next general election

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke – File photo by Angelo Marcelle

THE Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) has winning the two Tobago constituencies as its top priority in next year’s general election.

At present it is not aiming to form alliances with other political parties to win the election.

Party political leader Watson Duke made these comments on Thursday.

In a WhatsApp response to Newsday, Duke said, “As the PDP, our primary goal is to secure victory in the Tobago East and Tobago West constituencies. “

These constituencies are represented in the House of Representatives by the PNM’s Ayanna Webster-Roy and Shamfa Cudjoe-Lewis respectively. Webster-Roy and Cudjoe-Lewis won their seats in the September 7, 2015 general election and retained them five years later on August 10, 2020.

Duke said, “Beyond our electoral ambitions, our core commitment lies in promoting good governance in Tobago and Trinidad.”

He identified accountability, transparency, participation, consensus-building, equity, effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness as core principles the PDP adheres to in all its endeavours.

“We pledge our support to parties that share these values and prioritise the interests of all stakeholders in decision-making processes.”

Duke did not identify any other parties which shared the PDP’s principles.

He also did not indicate whether or not the PDP is either supporting or plans to support any party or alliance of parties in 2025.

He said, “Our dedication to good governance reflects our unwavering commitment to serving the people of Tobago and Trinidad with transparency, inclusiveness, and effective leadership.”

Addressing a UNC public meeting in February, Opposition Leader and party leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the party’s supporters will not be disrespected by other parties or called sheep by those wishing to piggyback on the party’s support base and resources.

In response, National Transformation Alliance (NTA) political leader Gary Griffith said he was “disheartened” by Persad-Bissessar’s rhetoric, and insulted on behalf of smaller parties which have helped the UNC in the polls.

He said her comments disrespected those who helped the People’s Partnership (PP) take office in 2010.

“Her divisive remarks and dismissive attitude towards third parties are not only regressive but also reminiscent of past failures.”

The UNC and the NTA formed an alliance for last August’s local government elections, which ended in a 7-7 tie between the PNM and UNC. The NTA won no districts or corporations in those elections.

The UNC and NTA have each opened nominations for candidates to contest all 41 seats in next year’s general election.