PDP leader Watson Duke

Loyse Vincent

Leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Watson Duke remains resolute that he will not apologise for calling two Tobago women “stink and dutty” during the general election campaign earlier this month. Appearing on a live social media post on Thursday, August 20, Duke said he was merely quoting lyrics from Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin’s 2017 song “Buss Head”, played the song during the live video and quoted the lyrics.

“Those words were composed by Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin – you wine to it all the time, they are not my words but I think they are relevant for today. Before you comment on an issue – Know the issue,” he said.

Duke’s response came after Leader of the Tobago Council of the People’s National Movement (PNM) Tracy Davidson-Celestine, while speaking at a Tobago House of Assembly post-Executive Council Media Briefing called on Duke to “man-up” and apologise in person for making the comments.

Davidson-Celestine’s comments came after the PDP’s Deputy Political Leader Farley Augustine apologised for Duke’s statements during a PDP press conference on Wednesday. Commenting on Augustine’s apology, Duke said he had “no beef” with his colleague but no-one speaks on his behalf.

“I cannot fault the Assemblyman for doing what he thought was right in the moment…I have no problem with that. However, Watson Duke always speaks for himself. Nobody speak (sic) for Watson Duke except my lawyer and he will have a day to speak for me in the courts of law.”

Duke, who named three women, said he would have his day in court as he has initiated legal proceedings against them. In the lead-up to last week’s general election, one of the women posted statements purporting impropriety against Duke. His lawyer demanded she removed them. Her lawyer responded to Duke by letter indicating that she had no intention to agree to his request.

The PDP political leader also took Davidson-Celestine to task. He said the PNM should concentrate on giving Tobago hoteliers and their workers the $50 million COVID-19 grant for hoteliers to upgrade their property and the Salary and Income Relief grants respectively, instead of focusing on him.

Guardian Media reached out to the PDP’s Farley Augustine and Duke’s general election running mate Tashia Burris for their reactions to the latest comments made by Watson Duke but our efforts were unsuccessful.