PDP Deputy Leader Farley Augustine

The Progressive Democratic Patriots(PDP) says it is setting up an alternative Executive Council from Monday, April 12 using ‘Len- Hand’ – an ancestral community-based system, giving persons within an area the opportunity to share and help each other.

Speaking at a PDP press conference on April 9, one of the PDP’s deputy leaders Farley Augustine said the party created the alternative council as the People’s National Government is “fearful” of sharing the governance of Tobago with the PDP.

He said the system would allow the PDP’s assemblymen to assist their communities in small projects. He said they have already reached out to various arms of the private sector, who are willing to help.

Here are the Assemblymen and their alternative secretarial portfolios:

*Dr. Faith B.Yisrael- Health, Wellness, and Family Development & Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries

*Pastor Terance Baynes- Community Development & Youth Affairs and Sport

*Ian Pollard-Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities & Infrastructure, Quarries, and the Environment

*Zorisha Hackett- Education, Innovation and Energy & Tourism, Culture and Transportation

*Farley Augustine-Office of the Chief Secretary & Finance and the Economy

Augustine said- Assemblyman Watson Duke will hold no Tobago portfolios. Instead, he will be responsible for The Tobago House in Trade. It was created as a lobbying mechanism in Trinidad to help Tobago, Augustine said.

The Tobago House of Assembly, the base from which all assemblymen operate, has not been fully constituted as the 12 assemblymen, who won their seats on January 25, 2021, THA elections, could not decide on a Presiding Officer.
Since then, the PDP proposed the People’s National Movement, which forms the Executive Council based on the 2017 THA elections results, shares governance with the PNM.
Talks are at a stalemate.

Reporter: Camille McEachnie