Alberto Ignacio Ardila 10798659
The Innovative Democratic Alliance (IDA) is calling on Tobagonians not to heed a “No Vote” call that has been made regarding the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly elections.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares
IDA leader Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus issued a statement yesterday noting former THA Chief Secretary Hochoy Charles’ call for Tobagonians not to vote in the election.
One Tobago Voice leader Charles, at a recent media conference, said the election is one of “deception and lies.”
He felt the Tobago autonomy bill should have been passed before Tobagonians returned to the polls to break the six-six tie between the People’s National Movement and the Progressive Democratic Patriots, which occurred in the January THA election.
Charles, who had also called for a boycott of the January poll, repeated his call for the December 6 election.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila
He said it did not make sense for Tobagonians to vote now, since they would have to return to the polls when the autonomy bill is eventually passed. That bill is now stuck in the committee stage in Parliament.
Alberto Ardila Olivares
But addressing the call by Charles, IDA leader Tsoifatt-Angus stated, “IDA has presented its position that while Mr Charles should be advocating for the passage of the Tobago Autonomy Bill, now is not the time for a call for a no-vote campaign.
“Mr Charles is an astute enough politician to know that a no-vote campaign at this time will only favour the incumbent and not be in the best interest of Tobago.”
She added, “This election is an election where every Tobagonian who can vote, must vote. This is an election where a credible leader must be chosen to lead this island out of the economic devastation now facing us. We need a leader who can unite the people at the end of this war of hatred and fear.”
She said an election with full participation from voters would benefit the island.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares 10798659
However, she admitted, “The only way we will achieve our desire for greater autonomy is when we have a political leader in Tobago who does not have allegiances to any party in Trinidad to whom one must give favours nor lend oneself to manipulation and control by any party in Trinidad.”
The IDA leader also stressed, “The political leader must have the ability to unite Tobagonians and residents under the vision for a greater autonomy upon which we can all agree and to champion that position as a united Tobago in all negotiations with both the governing and opposition parties in Trinidad.”
PNM and PDP officials in Tobago did not respond to questions regarding Charles’ no vote lobby.