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London unfazed by poll giving PNM landslide win
Orville London, Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), says he’s unaffected by the results of a poll that shows the PNM winning 11 of the 12 seats in the January 21 elections.
The results of the poll by the firm, Solution by Simulation, released on Sunday, shows London’s team winning the elections by a landslide with his rival, minority leader and Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) head Ashworth Jack, facing the possibility of losing the seat he now holds. London spoke on the matter at a Tobago PNM council media conference at the Mt Irvine Bay Hotel yesterday, called to present the party’s election manifesto.
London said he does not allow polls to affect him. “Polls are used to guide and inform. I don’t allow them to affect me. I am encouraged by the poll findings, but I am not euphoric,” he said. London added he expected the results of the election to be in the PNM’s favour.
Indicating he prefers to trust the electorate’s direct response, London said he is quite heartened by the feedback the PNM has been getting from Tobagonians. Asked about reports that his political colleague THA Assemblyman Hilton Sandy was jeered by PNM supporters in his own constituency of Roxborough/Delaford, London replied: “I am convinced Sandy did the right thing. He stood up and said I am sorry.”
Sandy is under fire on the TOP campaign trail for making what has been deemed a racist statement. He warned supporters there was a ship anchored in Calcutta waiting to come to Tobago. Winston “Gypsy” Peters, speaking at a TOP meeting in Bon Accord last Sunday night, said that meant Indians from Trinidad. Responding to charges from the TOP that the PNM was a racist institution, London said the party was the only one that had attempted to bring every creed and race together. London said the PNM is trying to protect Tobago from a political culture alien to Tobagonians.
“They are taking a culture from the UNC and the PP and bringing it here,” he said. Attacking Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for saying she wants to free Tobago, London said: “The sheer audacity of this lady, to come to Tobago and say Tobago land is locked under the PNM, and she is going to free Tobago.”
He appealed to the PM to withdraw the government’s Tobago internal self-government bill and restore some degree of confidence in her motive for bringing it at this time. Dr Anselm London, THA Secretary of Finance, said the PNM’s manifesto, titled, “In defence of Tobago,” outlined its record of achievement over the last 12 years. He said the TOP’s claim that the THA had spent $22 billion over the last 12 years was untrue.
“It was $17 billion,” London said.
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