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Campaign ends with motorcades - One love in Tobago
After weeks of intense election rivalry between Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) and PNM supporters in the sister isle, it all boiled down to a spirit of one love yesterday, the day before the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election. The rival supporters, accused of intimidation, vandalism and even violence against each other in the run-up to the election, displayed in the parties’ motorcades what some have described as “true Tobago love.”
Both parties began their final activity before today’s election in downtown Scarborough and went around the island. Supporters came out by the hundreds, some in Public Transport Service Corporation buses and others in private vehicles. Along the way, the motorcades met and instead of the expected clashes, supporters gave each other high-fives and bounces and sometimes danced together to election songs.
In the Kiah Road, Black Rock area, a TOP supporter came out of a pick-up and danced joyfully in the middle of the road. He held out his hand to passing PNM supporters who returned his gesture and hand waves. A man in a red PNM jersey walking on the road staged a friendly mock stick fight with his PNM flag. “At the end of the election, all of us have to live together here,” a PNM supporter shouted from a passing vehicle.
Chairman of the Tobago PNM Council Denise Tsiofatt-Angus said they got a report of an incident in Plymouth in which TOP supporters in Patience Hill threw oil on the road in a bid to hinder the PNM’s motorcade. She said the police and fire services reportedly visited the Patience Hill area and washed away the oil from the road.
Tsiofatt-Angus said the police also stopped the PNM motorcade in Bacolet in order for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to pass with her entourage in the TOP’s motorcade. She said these incidents and the dancing of TOP supporters in the road along the motorcade caused a serious delay in their journey around the island. She said the planned assembling of PNM supporters in Scarborough at the end of the motorcade had to be cancelled.
At 4 pm, the TOP’s motorcade had covered only half of the island. Tobago East MP Vernella Allen-Toppin said the TOP also got reports of PNM supporters blocking the road by coming out and dancing but she simply passed it on to the police to deal with. “All of us are one family in Tobago,” she said. “This is a little election rivalry but we don’t hate each other.”
Allen-Toppin said the TOP also had to cancel its plans to assemble in Scarborough after the motorcade.
Candidates in THA election
Orville London - Scarborough/Calder Hall
Hilton Sandy - Roxborough/Delaford
Claudia Groome-Duke - Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden
Godwin Adams - Plymouth/Golden Lane
Tracey Davidson-Celestine - Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside
Hayden Spencer - Belle Garden/Goodwood
Joel Jack - Bacolet/Mt St George
Jomo Pitt - Lambeau/Signal Hill
Handel Beckles - Bethel/Mt Irvine
Ancil Dennis - Buccoo/Mt Pleasant
Huey Cadette - Canaan/Bon Accord)
Sheldon Cunningham - Providence/Mason Hall/Moriah
Anthony Arnold- Scarborough/Calder Hall
Steve Jack – Belle Garden/Goodwood
Rolly Quaccoo – Canaan/Bon Accord
Certica Williams Orr – Plymouth/Golden Lane
Sherry Ann Rollocks-Hackette – Bethel/Mt. Irvine
Pastor Chester Robinson Alleyne – Lambeau/Signal Hill
Anselm Richards – Roxborough/Delaford
Fritz Herbert Taylor – Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside
Thedoil McPherson – Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden
Pastor Richard Alfred – Buccoo/Mt. Pleasant
Ashworth Jack – Providence/Mason Hall/Moriah
Gladstone Solomon – Bacolet/Mt. St. George
Juliana Henry-King - Bacolet/Mt. St. George
Petrina Shangie - Goodwood/Belle Garden West
Haynes Cowie-Clarke - Bethel/Mt. Irvine
Curtis Douglas - Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden
Ricardo Phillip - Buccoo/Mt. Pleasant
Barry Nelson - Cannan/Bon Accord
David Fraser - Lambeau/Signal Hill
Samuel Mapp - Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside
Hochoy Charles - Plymouth/Golden Lane
Ernest Belfon - Providence/Mason Hall/Moriah
Senya Martin - Belle Garden East/Roxborough/Delaford
Andre Phillips - Scarborough/Calder Hall
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