Official counting of ballots in the People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council internal elections has been postponed until 2pm on Monday.
Speaking to members of the media at 4.58am on Monday, elections supervisory committee chairman, Alvin Pascall made the announcement.
“At this hour, two polling stations have arrived for us. That is to say that there are 11 polling stations still to be counted, most of them have a considerable amount of counting to do still. As such, we have taken the decision… because of the hour of the morning, as the welfare of our persons in the polling stations being very, very tired at this hour, we have taken the decision that we would seal and secure those boxes and return them to the Tobago Council office for counting. We hope to resume this counting at 2 o’ clock today,” he said adding that the candidates were informed and consensus was received.
On Sunday, the Tobago Council held its internal party elections with all 17 positions up for grabs. With the one man, one vote system adopted for all positions for the first time it seemed to create a logistical challenge and an immense strain on staff.
The polls opened at 8am and closed at 6pm at 13 polling stations across the island, but as midnight approached and still no idea who had won the party’s internal elections, frustrated party members began openly expressing their discontent. Some were even clclaiming the delay was part of a plot to rig the elections.
An estimated 10,000 members were expected to vote, as some 45 candidates contested.
News reaching Newsday was that ballot boxes were still arriving at PNM headquarters in Scarborough after 6am on Monday –12 hours after polling closed.
The third polling station (Calder Hall-2 boxes) arrived at 4.42 am on Monday. The fourth polling station (Mt. Pleasant) arrived at 4.45am. The fifth polling station arrived at 4.58am. The sixth polling station (2 boxes) from Bishop’s High was in at 5.08am. The seventh polling station from Montgomery Govt Primary was in at 5.10am. The eighth polling station, Mason Hall Govt Primary arrived at 5.21am.
The ninth polling station (Signal Hill Community Cente) was in at 5.42am. The tenth polling station, Argyle came in at 5.53am. The eleventh polling station Bethesda was in at 6am. The twelfth polling station, Speyside High in at 6.13am, and the final polling station at Bon Accord Community Centre came in at 6. 23am.
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