Newly elected Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly. (Image: THA)

Casandra Thompson-Forbes

A new Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary is expected to be elected today during a special Sitting called by Clerk of the Assembly Cherry Anne Edwards-Louis.

In a memo to all THA members yesterday, Edwards-Louis said, “I have been directed by the Presiding Officer of the Tobago House of Assembly to inform you that, in accordance with Standing Orders (16) 4 of the Tobago House of Assembly, a meeting of the Assembly shall be convened on May 6, 2020, at 3 pm. The business to be transacted at the Meeting is the Election of a Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly”

The process was triggered after former THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles tendered his resignation last week.

Although the new Chief Secretary has not been announced, sources yesterday told Guardian Media that Assistant Secretary for Health, Wellness and Family Development and Buccoo/Mt. Pleasant representative Ancil Dennis is tipped for the position. At 33 years, Dennis could become the youngest ever Chief Secretary if elected.

Charles agreed to resign after losing a contentious internal election within the Tobago Council of the People’s National Movement to Tracy Davidson-Celestine in January. Davidson-Celestine was subsequently installed as a councillor and appointed Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development but cannot become Chief Secretary as she does not hold a seat in the THA.

Meanwhile, Minority Leader Watson Duke has knocked the PNM’s the ill-treatment of Charles will not be forgiven

“What has happened with the former Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles is irreconcilable. Those persons who claim to be seeking office, they have done an injustice to Mr Charles that will not be forgiven by Tobago people,” Duke said.

“No one should be forced out of office and then humiliated, so as not to serve either as a Secretary. Is it that Mr Charles is so incapable that he has failed all of his performance appraisals that he could do nothing in the THA, but to sit down as an Assemblyman, that’s humiliation and personally, when I got into politics it was to fight for all Tobagonians, even including PNM and as the political leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots I intend to fight for Mr Charles. He is not my friend, but he is a Tobagonian and I will do anything to ensure he is being given fairness and justice in all of this.”

He said he will take the matter to court if he has to.