|Leader of the Tobago Oragnisation of the People|
It was Hochoy Charles in 2010 who accused the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) of rigging their internal elections to favour certain candidates. Now once again, mere days away from their internal election their executive has been faced with a barrage of legal pre-action letters.
A news clipping carried by other media indicated that the TOP has been issued a pre-action protocol letter which calls for tomorrow’s internal TOP elections to be stopped.
Chairman Trevor Gardiner and secretary Gladstone Solomon of the TOP Hope/John Dial Action Group in a letter dated May 31st gave instructions to attorneys Bijili Lalla and Om Lalla to postpone the elections.
The pre-action protocol letter stated: “We are instructed to request you to give an undertaking to postpone the election carded for Sunday 2nd June 2013, until the constitution is amended to provide for the ‘one man one vote’ system and all members are permitted to participate in the process. The procedural irregularity and illegal act of holding the election in the proposed manner is detrimental to the TOP and its credibility.” The letter also stated: “Should you fail to accede to our request, we will have no alternative but to seek legal redress from the High Court for injunctive relief to stay the said election.”
TOP was then given 24 hours to communicate on the way forward, and copies of the letter were also sent to political leader of the TOP Ashworth Jack, chairperson of the elections committee Cherry Ann Rollocks-Hackett and TOP party chairman Lionel Coker.
Only recently Justice Minister and chairman of the TOP’s constitutional amendment committee Christlyn Moore, in a letter dated May 21st to the party, expressed her reservations about Sunday’s election.
Her letter requested: “That the election of the executive carded for 2nd June be aborted.”
In addition, TOP member Anslem Richards has also threatened legal action against the party. Richards who contested the Tobago House of Assembly election for Roxborough /Delaford on January 21, was rejected as a contestant for the position of chairman by the party citing his financial standing within the TOP.
A portion of Richards letter which was written on May 31st states:
“Failure to honour my rights of membership as guaranteed under the constitution of the TOP will result in legal proceedings being instituted.”
Efforts by some media groups to contact Jack and Coker proved to be futile, and calls to their mobile phones were not returned.