The battle is heating up for the leadership position of the PNM's Tobago Council. Both Kelvin Charles, the incumbent, and Ambassador Tracey Davidson-Celestine, the main contender, hit the pavement at Plymouth in the hot midday sun on Saturday shaking hands in the last-minute bid to woo support from die-hard PNMites living in the historic seaside community.
Charles and a small band of supporters walked quietly through the back streets. He told Guardian Media that the "Almighty" would see him through and he was confident that history would repeat itself and he would once again beat "the rest" for the leadership position. Charles said he was also confident that people who cast votes against him on January 19 would throw their support behind him.
Charles, the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, said, "We continue to knock on doors, meet our people and talk to them in ways to understand the challenge we face in Tobago to ensure the work that I have started continues."
Charles said during the past three years, Tobago has gotten immense benefit. He said work has been done to revitalise tourism, boost the education system and deepen the thrust into small business development. He said the skills training programme carried out under the Division of Enterprise Development was boosted from a figure of 500-plus graduates in 2016 to 1342 in 2019.
Davidson-Celestine's walkabout was much bigger, she had scores of supporters and loudspeakers attached to a pick-up truck announcing her presence as she moved through the eastern side of the village with much fanfare. Davidson-Celestine said her level of confidence was at its highest. She said at the elections on January 19 around 70 per cent of the electorate voted against Charles.
Davidson-Celestine thanked Joel Jack and Dr Denise Tsoi-a-fatt-Angus for throwing their support and supporters behind her. Tsoi-a-fatt-Angus and Jack contested the post for the political leader on January 19.
She said, "We have been campaigning vigorously and asking those who supported Dr Angus and also Joel Jack to give me that support going forward." She said her plans include a reunification of the party's leadership and bridging the gap between Tobago East and Tobago West. She said plans also included a membership drive and the setting up of a bursary for members to further their studies.
Alvin Pascall, chairman of the elections supervisory committee, confirmed that the polls open at 8 am and close at 6 pm at 13 centres. Pascall said 10,000 party members are eligible to vote.