A ‘Fresh New Direction’ for Tobago: As New Assembly Sworn in

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New Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, Farley Augustine, speaks to the media shortly after his inauguration.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO — Deputy Political Leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Farley Chavez Augustine has been sworn in as Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), with a fresh new direction and a pledge to be “the Chief Secretary of all of Tobago.”

Augustine, following his inauguration, told the media that for the first time the Tobago Executive Council will have fresh new faces with no one who once served in an executive council.

“I did not want folks with old attitudes trying to transfer those old political culture into the new executive that I would lead. However, I will need my team members to come up to scratch almost immediately and so there will need to be some internal training,” Augustine noted.

The new Chief Secretary said he looks forward to working along with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, with whom he had a brief chat during the inauguration ceremony and was pleased about the discussion.

“He did say to me that he really hoped that we can work together, that we can do so in a cordial manner, and that we will both work in the best interest of the people of Tobago, without any form of biases, any form of ill will or anything of that sort. And I think was an excellent first step,” Augustine stated.

Along with Prime Minister Rowley and Chief Justice Ivor Archie, President Paula-Mae Weekes was in attendance.

Supporters came out early wearing their PDP T-shirts and waving flags, as they sang, “Farley, Farley, Farley!” and mobbed him when he arrived at the Assembly with his fiancée, Takyana Nedd.

Augustine, described by many as a “man of the people”, greeted supporters on arrival as an assemblyman, and again after he was officially sworn in as Chief Secretary.

It was a day for Tobago to exhale, as after almost ten months a new THA was installed following the January 6/6 deadlock.

According to Loop news, PDP Leader Watson Duke was sworn in as Deputy Chief Secretary, while Abby Taylor was elected Presiding Officer. Joel Sampson will serve as Deputy Presiding Officer.

Kelvon Morris, the lone PNM candidate to win his seat, was sworn in as the THA Minority Leader.

Augustine named Tashia Grace Burris, Orlando Kerr and Certica Orr as councillors, while Morris named Petal Daniel-Benoit as a councillor.

The recently concluded THA election saw the PDP winning 14 of the 15 electoral seats.