At the stroke of midday yesterday Ancil Dennis, when asked if he was willing to serve as Chief Secretary after the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections, said: “Only the political leader can serve as Chief Secretary.”
Dennis spoke with reporters after voting his electoral district of Buccoo/Mt Pleasant. Commenting on dozens of social media posts from supporters who said he should remain as Chief Secretary, Dennis said he was heartened by the show of support.
“It’s definitely heartening because it means that I am doing something right and people have a right to express their opinions its part of the democratic process, but only the political leader can serve as the Chief Secretary,” he said.
The Buccoo/Mt Pleasant representative made history as the youngest person to serve as Chief Secretary when he was sworn into office in May 2020. The post became vacant after former Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles lost the election for political leader of the PNM Tobago Council and resigned on April 28. The new political leader, Tracy Davidson-Celestine, was appointed a THA councillor.
Dennis said he was the 136th person to vote at the Buccoo Government Primary School and described the process as smooth as there were no challenges. He was in and out of the polling station within ten minutes. Although the district gained the least number of voters throughout the island for the 2017 THA elections, Dennis said he was not concerned.
“Voter in the district tend to come in later in the afternoon but I anticipate a turnout of more than 50 per cent,” he said
Reflecting on the highlight of his tenure as Chief Secretary, he said: “I enjoyed meeting the people, being appreciated and celebrated by them, especially based on the contributions over the last seven months.”
Dennis said his greatest achievements during his short stint was revitalising the island’s agriculture sector,” the three-year contract agreement for public servant (extended from two) and the Buccoo Marine Park Bil.”
Dennis is seeking a third term as the representative for Buccoo/Mt Pleasant and gave himself a passing grade.
“I think a number of development opportunities were created for the people and in terms of infrastructural development and in terms of facilities and the availability of community facilities this is one of the districts that presents itself as a model to the rest the island and by and large the quality of life for the residents of this district has improved over the last years,” he said.
Asked if he would prefer to serve in the Division of Food Production, Fisheries and Forestry since one of his major achievements were made in the food production sector, Dennis said he is prepared to serve in “whatever capacity the political leaders see fit.”
He added: “It’s the sole prerogative of the of the Chief Secretary.”