TPP ready for internal election

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Chief Secretary Farley Augustine

ONLY registered members of the Tobago People’s Party (TPP) will be eligible to vote in the party’s inaugural internal election set for July 7.

Voting takes place from 9 am to 4 pm at some seven polling stations across the island.

The election was supposed to have been held on June 30 but was postposed due to the threat of Hurricane Beryl.

The party’s interim political leader and assemblyman for Parlatuvier/Speyside/L’Anse Fourmi Farley Augustine is contesting the position of political leader unopposed.

Other positions being contested unopposed are deputy chairman (Joel Sampson); general secretary (Pearl Alman George); and public relations and communications officer (Tynielle Jack).

The positions up for grabs are: deputy political leader; election officer; assistant general secretary; education, research and training officer; party treasurer; membership and mobilisation officer; and assistant party treasurer.

Certica Williams-Orr, a member of the internal election committee, told Sunday Newsday the party’s machinery is in place.

“The centres, the liaison officers, polling day staff have been identified. We have our ballots. We have our ballot boxes. So everything, as of now, should work well,” said Williams-Orr, a former THA councillor, who last served as assistant secretary in the Division of Finance, Trade and the Economy.

She added provisions are also in place “for if anything goes awry.

“But everything is in place. We don’t expect and major hiccups.”

Williams-Orr urged members to engage in the process.

“We are asking the registered members to come out and cast their votes. There are 12 positions on the ballot but four are being contested unopposed. So there are eight positions in contention. We are a young party and this is going to be the first of many elections and we are here to stay. Let’s do it well.”

She said the TPP’s constitution caters for three deputy political leaders, one of which is being contested today. The other two will be announced when the new executive is formed. The incoming executive will serve for two years.

Williams-Orr said the results should be announced by 6pm at the party’s headquarters, Unit 18, TLH Building, Milford Road, Scarborough.

Last month, after the TPP’s nominations exercise, Augustine, who is also the Chief Secretary, said he was glad that the party had retained its confidence in him.

He also noted, then, the number of people who offered themselves for service.

“I am also happy that I see some competitive areas in this internal election. That is a sign of a party that is very active and very desirable, and people would always want to be a part of something that is good and so I welcome the competitive voting that will happen in the varying areas. I am confident that the party will select best people, who will not just be best for the party’s development, but for Tobago’s development.”

Augustine said as political leader, he intends to build for Tobago, a modern political party, one which the Caribbean had never seen before.

Augustine and the other sitting representatives in the THA were once part of the Watson Duke-led Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP), which had an overwhelming 14-1 victory over the PNM in the December 6, 2021, THA election.

But eight months into its term, Duke accused the Augustine-led THA of failing to financially assist the members of a Roxborough cultural group, which had gone to New York to perform at Tobago Day celebrations.

Duke subsequently resigned as Deputy Chief Secretary and was replaced by Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection Dr Faith BYisrael. He also fired Augustine, BYisrael and Alicia Roberts-Patterson as PDP deputy leaders.

In December 2022, a year after assuming office, all 13 PDP executive members resigned from the party and declared themselves independents in the THA.

Their supporters later established the TPP with Augustine as its interim political leader. The party was launched formally in Scarborough on August 13, 2023. Its colour is blue and symbol, an anchor.

THE CANDIDATES

Political Leader – Farley Augustine

Deputy Political Leader – David Thomas, Dr Faith BYisrael

Chairman – Christlyn Moore, Ann Natasha Second, Trevor James.

Deputy Chairman – Joel Sampson

General Secretary – Pearl Alman-George

Assistant General Secretary – Arnel Des Vignes, Jacqueline Vanessa Adams.

Party Treasurer – Orlando Kerr, Nazimoodeen Baksh

Assistant Party Treasurer – Natasha Legall-Roberts, Marlon Radgman

Elections Officer – Otis Noel, Alicia Roberts-Patterson

Membership and Mobilisation Officer – Ackel Franklyn, Lance Ogiste, Ava Mc Call, Kelton Thomas.

Education Research and Training Officer – Wayne Jones, Sean Mc Coon, Roston Wood, Nevlin Renrick

Public Relations and Communications Officer – Tynielle Jack