Tobago will today hold elections for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA). Established in 1980, the THA is a 12-seat
Tobago will today hold elections for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
Established in 1980, the THA is a 12-seat unicameral legislature that handles many of the responsibilities of the Trinidadian central government on the island but lacks the ability to levy taxes or impose local laws independently.
Vying for power on the island are the centre-left Tobago Council of the People’s National Movement (PNM) under Tracy Davidson-Celestine, which currently holds ten of the twelve seats; and the left-wing Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) under Farley Augustine, which maintains the remaining two. Davidson-Celestine rose to power in PNM leadership elections last year, and if she and the PNM are elected with a majority she would make history as the first female Chief Secretary of Tobago.
The PNM has held power in the THA since 2001 and opinion polls indicate that they are likely to retain all ten of their current seats. As Chief Secretary, Davidson-Celeste has vowed to prioritize post-COVID economic recovery on the island. A former secretary of tourism in the THA, Davidson-Celeste will prioritize encouraging tourism, a burgeoning industry in Trinidad and Tobago that is expected to constitute a large portion of the nation’s income in coming years as the country shifts away from its reliance on petroleum production.