A month has passed in the life of Tobago Organisation of the People after its defeat at the polls in the THA election. Nevertheless, the TOP can assure Tobago and Tobagonians that the TOP would remain the alternative government to the THA and relevant to Tobago politics despite the results of the polls on January 21st 2013. The PNM won all twelve electoral seats in Tobago. It was the first time in the history of this institution called the THA that any political party won all twelve seats. This was not the result that supporters of the TOP expected after witnessing the type of campaign executed by the TOP, the level of support the organisation received day after day and the cries by many Tobagonians for a change from the PNM regime and the need for a new organisation to manage the affairs of Tobago.
The TOP fought a good fight in which it brought all the issues of Tobago to the fore-front. The TOP led by Ashworth Jack, brought Tobago to the brink of internal self-government and identified in clear details through its manifesto how it would have managed Tobago through this new arrangement. The PNM as it always did prevented Tobago and Tobagonians from achieving internal self-government and self-determination on the merit that it was not a Tobago document. The PNM argued that it was not the right time to offer Tobago internal self-government and self-determination. This has placed Tobago and Tobagonians in the same position it has been since 1889.
However, the democratic process ensured that the majority’s choice about which political party and regime they wanted to manage Tobago. The Political Leader, the Executive members, supporters and members of the TOP respect the voice of the majority and are willing to continue to work with every Tobagonian. The TOP has recognised that despite its best efforts the majority of Tobagonians decided not to accept its proposals and vision and went along with that of the PNM. In this regard the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP), has to congratulate the PNM on its resounding victory, and hope that it will manage Tobago in the best interest of the people who voted for the PNM; and those that voted for the Tobago Organisation of the People. It must be noted that we are all Tobagonians and the people of Tobago, despite their political affiliation must be treated fairly and with respect.
In spite of the human emotions that may arise in this situation, we are certain the TOP will bounce back and will return stronger, bigger, better and ready to develop Tobago and take Tobago and Tobagonians to where all Tobagonians would like to see Tobago in the future.
Mr Ashworth Jack did the honourable thing and tendered his resignation to the party and decided to make way for new leadership. However, all the organs of the organisation rejected his resignation, including the organisation’s Island Council which is the highest decision making body of the organisation outside the TOP Annual General Council. Each organ decided that Mr Jack should remain Political Leader of the TOP. While many on the outside may have another point of view, it is the members and supporters of the party who make the decision on who the Leader is. They have decided that they want Mr Jack to continue as leader and the organisation is giving him its full support in the restructuring efforts.
Mr Jack has been very instrumental in building this organisation and has made a lot of personal sacrifices in bringing the TOP to where it is today, as one of Tobago’s major political forces. Mr Jack is also one of the most experienced politicians in this country and his knowledge, experience and abilities will certainly assist the TOP in its rebuilding drive. The party is moving on and has started putting its house in order for the upcoming general election which is due in the next two years. The TOP is confident that with its eleven thousand plus voters that this can form the foundation for its rebuilding.
The Tobago Organisation of the People wants to sincerely thank the eleven thousand plus persons who supported the plans and visions of the TOP. The TOP will continue to represent you outside of the House of Assembly as we will continue to follow all that is taking place and remain the watchdog of Tobago. We will never turn our back on you, we will continue our commitment to you, and we will be defending you and Tobago with our lives. The TOP will continue working towards Tobago’s freedom, we will continue working towards Tobago’s internal self-government and self-determination. So as we can build a better and stronger organisation that has a significant role to play in Tobago’s future, we renew our commitment to Tobago and Tobagonians.