“It was a pre-arranged meeting,” Jack said in a brief interview. The TOP, which was formed in October 2008, successfully contested the two Tobago seats in Monday’s general election unseating the PNM and in so doing, helped the UNC-led People’s Partnership to sweep the General Elections, consigning the PNM to a 29-12 beating. Jack, who has been in politics for the past 32 years, said Tobago’s affairs would be high on the agenda during his discussion with Persad-Bissessar. Jack said Persad-Bissessar is expected to join TOP supporters in Tobago for a victory celebration on the weekend.
In a show of solidarity last Friday, Persad-Bissessar had delivered the feature address at the TOP’s last political campaign public meeting at Old Market Square in Scarborough.
While he was sanguine about Monday’s victory, Jack said it was time to buckle down to work.
“It is a normal day for me. I don’t live in the past. It is back to business,” Jack said, adding that he also intended to spend more time with his two teenage daughters.
“I have neglected them for the past six weeks,” he admitted sheepishly, noting that they had faced a hard time at school when he had been accused of selling out Tobagonians by joining the UNC-led People’s Partnership.
During an emotional news conference on election night, an overwhelmed Jack told Tobagonians that they would be taken care of. “We will not let you down,” he said amid the din of jubilant TOP supporters.
Revealing he had a near death experience eight years ago, Jack said God had spared his life for a purpose – to bring deliverance to Tobagonians. He dedicated the party’s victory to former Prime Minister and President Arthur NR Robinson, whom he described as his mentor and friend.
Jack also told supporters that the promise of constitutional reform made by the People’s Partnership on the campaign would be kept. “We have waited for 120 years to have constitutional reform as well as land reform. We would not have to press very hard. There has been nothing but goodwill and respect and that will continue,” he said.
Meanwhile, victorious Tobago East candidate Vernella Alleyne-Toppin said she was overwhelmed and happy by her achievement. “I feel I have been given a mandate to effect positive change in the social fabric of Tobago,” she said in an interview from her home at Government House Road, Scarborough.
Alleyne-Toppin said she was willing to serve as a minister in the new Cabinet.
‘That is the reason for being in the race, to make serious decisions on policies,” she said, adding that she had already begun to familiarise herself with the protocols of the Parliament.