The six Assemblymen from the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) on the steps of the Assembly Legislature building in Scarborough. (Image: CAMILLE McEACHNIE)
CAMILLE McEACHNIE

The six Assemblymen from the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP), who spent the night of February 1st in the Assembly Legislature building on Jerningham Street, Scarborough, are still there.

They said they would deliver a pre-action protocol letter to the Assembly’s Clerk this morning, asking that she reconvenes the Sitting before Thursday 4th February 2021, as scheduled.

The members emerged briefly on February 2nd, to hold morning prayers, and speak to supporters.

Many supporters gathered outside the night before to listen to what the PDP’s leaders had to say about governing Tobago.

During the early morning service—led by Pastor Terance Baynes, area representative for Bethel/Mt. Irvine—the party’s leader Watson Duke and deputy leader Farley Augustine said the PDP’s Assemblymen would continue the vigil until the Plenary Sitting resumes.

Duke represents the Belle Garden East/ Roxborough/Delaford district, while Augustine is the Assemblyman for Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside area.

The Clerk of the Assembly, Merna McLeod, stopped the Sitting on February 1st after seven rounds of voting failed to produce a Presiding Officer.

The PDP and People’s National Movement (PNM), who both polled six seats each in the January 25th Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections voted for their chosen Presiding Officer candidate, resulting in a tie.

The legislative arm of the Assembly cannot reconvene for the new 2021 term until an officer is chosen.

The administrative arm remains in limbo as most of the old Executive Council still governs Tobago.

A statement from the Office of the Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis indicated three secretaries, who were no longer Assemblymen, resigned.  It also said all assistant secretaries left office.