Kelvin Charles led the People's National Movement to yet another victory in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) last night.
But while he led the party to its fifth straight win in Tobago, he did not achieve the 2013 success of his predecessor Orville London, eventually taking the THA 10-2 after Watson Duke's People's Democratic Party blocked a clean sweep.
Both Duke (Roxborough/Dalaford)and Farley Augustine (Parlatuvier/L'anse Fourmi/Speyside) were the only opposition candidates who convinced Tobagonians they were worthy of representing them over the next four years.
After that, only the PNM's Belle Garden/Goodwood candidate, Hayden Spencer, was made to sweat. The PDP's Dr Faith Yisrael took him down to the wire for a seat that was declared late, which he won by a mere five votes 953-948.
Speaking to exuberant supporters at the party's Scarborough headquarters last night, outgoing Chief Secretary London congratulated all the candidates who contested the elections. He said with the current win he wanted to put the achievement into perspective because it was unprecedented
"We have been given a fifth successive mandate, but not only that, we have been given that mandate by a five to one majority. I want you to put that in context, 10-2, five to one is in fact an overwhelming mandate in any language and therefore I want to commend all of you the people of Tobago, all the PNM supporters and all of you who worked assiduously over the past few weeks to ensure that once again, the PNM is returned to the Tobago House of Assembly." Charles said the people of Tobago had spoken loudly through the results, adding he was happy that Tobagonians trusted him and the PNM to take Tobago further.
PNM leader and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley thanked Tobagonians for making the right choice. He said he accepted the 10-2 results and he was excited to work with the new team.
"The next four years would be the most exciting four years in the history of Tobago. We are going to work together, we are going to achieve together and we are going to progress together, because this country is Trinidad and Tobago and Tobago is important," Rowley said.
"As we celebrate tonight and accept this responsibility, as we welcome the new Chief Secretary, as we welcome the new secretaries who would be appointed within the next few days, I want to say congratulations to all those persons who offered themselves for public office."
Rowley said not everything would be offered immediately, but if both the Central Government and the THA work together, Tobago would get everything it needs in time, once the appropriate attitude exists to build the island
Thousands of PNM supporters later made their traditional victory march through the streets up early hours of yesterday morning.
The new executive of the THA is scheduled to be sworn in on Thursday at the Jerningham Street Chamber at 10 am.
?LIST OF WINNERS
Bacolet/Mount St George
PNM Joel Jack 1,041
PNM Hayden Spencer 953
PNM Shomari Hector 1,184
Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden
PNM Kelvin Charles 1,050
PNM Ancil Dennis 1,291
PNM Clarence Jacob 803
PNM Jomo Pitt 1,185
PDP Farley Augustine 954
PNM Marisha Osmond 578
PNM Sheldon Cunningham 1,089
PDP Watson Duke 1,261
PNM Marslyn Melville-Jack 287