Tobago People’s Party: We’re ready for general, THA elections

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Faith BYisrael – File photo by David Reid

DEPUTY Chief Secretary Dr Faith BYisrael believes the Tobago People’s Party (TPP) is ready to contest the next general and Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections, both of which are constitutionally due in 2025.

The fledgling party, which was formally launched on August 13, 2023, has already signalled its intention to contest the Tobago East and West seats in the general election, as well as all 15 electoral districts in the THA elections.

The TPP holds its maiden internal election on June 9. Its interim political leader is Chief Secretary Farley Augustine.

The party was formed by members of the THA executive council after a public feud between Augustine and their former Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke in August 2022.

The feud occurred eight months after the PDP enjoyed an overwhelming 14-1 victory over the PNM in the December 2021 THA elections.

BYisrael, who is also the Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection, told Newsday on April 5, “I think we are ready.”

Having contested their first THA election on a PDP ticket in 2017 and more recently, in preparing for the December 2021 THA election, she said they have acquired considerable experience of the process.

Referring specifically to the preparations for the December 2021 elections, BYisrael added, “During that time, we did so much learning and executing on our own that it really is just a transfer of that knowledge and those skills that we have picked up during the electioneering and the election-day machinery.

“That is stuff that we were able to do a decent job at over the last couple of elections, and we are just going to transfer that knowledge into these two coming up. So I think that we are ready. I think that we will do a decent job at it.”

But ultimately, she said, the voters will have the final say.

“It is up to the people of Tobago to decide. I keep telling them that. Regardless of what we do, on election day, I only have one vote and that is really what counts the most on election day..So it is really up to all of us collectively to do our individual thing responsibly. I think we will be fine.”