This country’s Ambassador to Costa Rica, Tracey Davidson-Celestine, has become the first woman to lead the Tobago's PNM Council.
She beat Kevin Charles—who is also the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA)—by a landslide at the polls. Davidson-Celestine took home 3,150 votes while Charles managed to poll 2,142 votes.
Davidson-Celestine and scores of supporters arrived shortly before 10 pm at the PNM's Tobago Council's offices at Scarborough. She was elated to have been elected and promised to get the healing process underway within the Tobago arm of the PNM, in the shortest possible time.
Davidson-Celestine told reporters she has a 100-day plan—starting with reconciliation—to bring together all the leaders and losers of the elections and those in Tobago East and West, to fill any gaps that separate them. She said 2020 is critical, since Tobago would be facing both the THA elections and a General Election.
Davidson-Celestine also re-stated her intention to resign her posting as High Commissioner to Costa Rica as soon as it becomes possible.
She said women can do what they desire once they have the will power.
“I want to tell all women that everything is possible,” she encourages. “You have to be determined. You have to be very passionate about those things that you believe in, and go for it, and at some point in time, the victory will come.”
Davidson Celestine said she was of the view that nothing was said during the campaign that would have caused animosity among party members. She also thanked outgoing leader, Kelvin Charles, who congratulated her and conceded defeat before the official announcement of the winner.
A sombre Kelvin Charles speaks with the media after losing Sunday's elections
A sombre looking Charles showed up at the venue and left before the arrival of Tracy Davidson-Celestine. Charles said he had faced a vicious campaign from his opponents who had attacked him. He told reporters, that he was mindful not sink to their level, and said he was proud of the work he did with the PNM, and also as the Chief Secretary since 2016.
Kelvin Charles, who was accompanied by his wife and a handful of supporters, said he thought that he would have won the election. When asked whether his team did enough to reach out to Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus and Joel Jack—both of whom backed Davidson-Celestine—he responded:
"That’s an interesting question. Clearly, if you follow the pattern, it was orchestrated."
Kelvin Charles said he wants time to reflect on his losses and indicated he would speak after he had analysed the results. He also confirmed his intention to continue his work as Chief Secretary and expressed hope that the party was strong enough to go into the General Elections.
Story by SHASTRI BOODAN
Photos by VINDRA GOPAUL