...Charles denies PFT splitting votes to help PNM win
The Platform for Truth (PFT) political party is not in collusion with any other political entity but is on a mission to win the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) on its own, says its leader Hochoy Charles.
Minister of Tobago Development Dr Delmon Baker at the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) presentation of candidates on Sunday claimed that Charles was betraying the people of Tobago by contesting the polls in an attempt to split the votes in favour of the People's National Movement (PNM).
Speaking to the Express yesterday by phone Charles said his party is not in partnership with any party and in fact is the only political party in Tobago that is rooted in the sister isle and focuses solely on Tobagonians.
"The PFT is the only party that represents Tobago, the other two parties represent Trinidad's interest," said Charles.
Charles, a former THA chief secretary pointed out that the last THA election was on January 19, 2009 and the results of that election showed "that a third party could have contested and won 11 of the 12 seats without taking a TOP or PNM vote".
The problem in Tobago, said Charles, is that people do not exercise their franchise to vote. He added that in the 2010 general election, in the last week of the campaigning representatives of the PFT actually urged people to vote for the TOP.
"People were saying to us that we are not going to vote, this was at the time of the property tax, the PFT mounted a campaign using our own funds and urged people to vote for the two TOP candidates or else we would lose our land. We caused them (TOP) to win the election in Tobago," said Charles.
A confident Charles said the PFT will win the THA election because Tobagonians want true representation.
"We don't need the TOP vote or the PNM vote to win the 12 positions," said Charles.
He said from today the 12 candidates will be hitting the road and over the next three weeks will be campaigning intensely to win the votes of Tobagonians.
On January 21, three political parties will be vying for the THA— the PNM, TOP and the PFT.
The Platform for Truth (PFT) candidates are:
Plymouth/Golden Lane—Hochoy Charles
Scarborough/Calder Hall—Andre Phillips
Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden— Curtis Douglas
Parlatuvier/L'Anse Fourmi/Speyside —Samuel Mapp
Belle Garden/Goodwood—Pertrina Shanghie
Bacolet/Mt St George—Juliana Henry King
Lambeau/Signal Hill—David Fraser
Bethel/Mt Irvine—Haynes Cowie-Clarke
Buccoo/Mt Pleasant—Ricardo Phillip
Canaan/Bon Accord)—Barry Nelson
Providence/Mason Hall/Moriah—Ernest Belfon —Anna Ramdass