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TOP breakaway forms new party

Published: 
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Tobago Organisation of the People members raise their hands during a vote to form a new political party, Tobago Forwards.

Tobago has a new political party. 

Called Tobago Forwards, it was formed by a breakaway faction of the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) called The Forward Movement Group of Concerned Members and Supporters of the Party.

On Sunday, during a general meeting by the group at the Rovanel’s Resort, the group voted to form the new political party to forward the TOP’s cause. 

The latest development comes several months after the TOP and its political leader Ashworth Jack went dormant after being whitewashed at the 2013 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) polls.

In June 2014, Jack had filed an injunction to stop the faction using TOP’s name and symbol. 

The new political organisation will carry the conch shell as its symbol, pending approval from the Elections and Boundaries Commission.

Among Tobago Forwards’ prominent members is Tobago West MP Dr Delmon Baker, who dispelled reports he was the interim political leader. He said while he supported the process on Sunday, he remained a member of TOP.

“There is no interim leader at this time. The members agreed that the elected interim body that was managing the Tobago Forward Movement within the TOP will continue to manage the affairs of the new movement until an election process is called,” Baker said.

“That therefore means that the current chairman of that body, Mr Anslem Richards, will be the person who would shepherd the group until such time as we have an election.” 

Baker said he remained a member of the TOP until further notice.

“I am a member of the TOP. I have not yet resigned or offered my resignation,” he added.

Other Tobago Forwards members are Stanley Beard, Merriam Caesar-Moore and former THA 2013 election candidates Gladstone Solomon and Anslem Richards, who is the party’s interim chair.

Richards said the new party would give Tobagonians an alternative political choice and described its emergence as the dawn of a new era in the political landscape of Tobago.