A total of 36 candidates from the People's National Movement (PNM), Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) and Platform For Truth (PFT) will be contesting 12 electoral districts in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election on January 21. As we count down to election day, the Express speaks to the candidates who share their vision and tell why should they be elected to the THA.
Incumbent TOP candidate Rolly Quaccoo, 57, principal of Tobago technical school for the past 25 years.
Why should you be re-elected?
Quaccoo: I grew up in Canaan, went to school in Canaan and I would have felt the pain for the infrastructure, the lack of development of roads and drains, schools, the community centre, unemployment amongst the youths.
The area of sport is in great need of attention. The recreation ground is dilapidated although we have extremely good sportsmen and sportswomen.
The reason I should be elected is because I believe I have the courage to change the system so that people can move from whatever level they are at to financial independence.
We can achieve this through education and training and we must also at the same time create job opportunities.
I believe I can change the economic fortune of Canaan/Bon Accord so the people can move toward self-actualisation and financial independence.
This area has suffered PNM neglect over the past 12 years especially, although they have significant wealth.
In the midst of wealth too many young people and older folks dabble in poverty and this breeds crime and criminal activities...we want to change that and bring the people up to speed.
My focus would be on improving the system. Making Tobago a better place, making Pigeon Point more suitable for the family...we have a rain forest with medicinal plants we can commercialise, renewable energy, tourism.
PNM candidate Huey Cadette, 41, former operations officer of the National Training Agency, Tobago Office of the Ministry of Tertiary Education.
Over the past four years, he served as assistant secretary in the THA Division of Health and Social Services and assistant secretary in the area of sport and youth affairs.
Why should you be elected?
Cadette: I should be elected because I believe in the last four years I have demonstrated that I can work with people and stakeholders to improve the communities.
I was instrumental in providing support for the senior citizens centre in Canaan/Bon Accord, I was instrumental in providing support for the expansion of the senior citizens home, provided support for the Bon Accord School through sporting programmes. I've worked with reef operators to assist in regulating their businesses.
Canaan/Bon Accord has a long history of sport and strong community groups, it is the centre of a lot of commercial activities and because of my involvement over the years in the Tobago Youth Council, through the football association, has given me the opportunity to get involved with the community and gives me the understanding on how to deliver to the people.
I've demonstrated over the last four years that I have a vision for the community, for example, we have come up with a plan for an indoor and outdoor sporting complex for basketball and netball.
Through my experience with the National Training Agency I understand the labour market and recognise that there are numerous jobs out there, but we need to work with young people to help them know what the employers want, what qualifications through offering coaching and techniques.
Barry Nelson, 47,
Why should you be elected?
Nelson: Canaan/Bon Accord is where the major tourism plant is, the hotels are there, most of the guest houses, you have the tourist attractions of Store Bay and Pigeon Point.
The tourism industry provides jobs for over 60 per cent of the people of Tobago, we need to look at this area in terms of improving not only the infrastructure but marketing the whole of Tobago.
We need to market the entire island and to do that we have to get the power of the THA, only we in Tobago know what is necessary to market Tobago.
My vision is to see Tobago has its power so we as a people can make our own determination, we need to know where our boundaries are, we need to get the human resources to achieve accomplishments.
I am a person who has struggled for the power that I speak about, I championed the courts for the registration of deeds in Tobago, which is basically happening now but not fully.
The process makes no sense because you still have to go to Trinidad after registering a deed in order to get the certified copy.
It is painstaking to see that in a time where we talking constitutional reform that we see Tobago at this point of time so divided, you would expect the people to come together but they are being divided by the TOP and the PNM.
We are the only Tobago-based party where our leadership is here, so we have the leverage to see and do on behalf of the people of Tobago.