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Ashworth stays as TOP leader

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) Ashworth Jack, centre, poses for a photograph with other party members after yesterday’s news conference. Photo: Casandra Thompson-Forbes

Former minority leader and political leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) Ashworth Jack is staying as leader of the party. After the 12–0 defeat at the THA polls last month, Jack said during his concession speech that he would be re-evaluating his life in the political arena. 



However, at a news conference called yesterday by the party to reveal Jack’s decision, speculation was put to rest as Jack was retained as political leader of the party although he  tendered his resignation dated February 1, 2013, and submitted the document on Monday. Speaking at the conference, chairman of the TOP Lionel Coker said many arms within the party did not want Jack to step down and voted overwhelmingly for him to stay on as political leader.


“Mr Jack in fact tendered his resignation...However, I must hasten to add that his resignation was not supported by the youth and women’s arms of the party, along with the various action groups within his electoral district,” Coker said. “In addition to that, the Island Council, which is the highest decision-making body within the party outside of an AGM, met last night and members voted overwhelmingly to refuse Mr Jack’s resignation and to support him continuing being the political leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People.” 


Meanwhile, Jack dismissed rumours of him leaving the country for Dubai. He said his mind was made up and he had spent a lot of time at the party’s headquarters since the election, clearing the path for the new leader with respect to the payment of bills accrued and dealing with other legal matters involving the party. He said an evaluation into the loss would be done, but the TOP would remain relevant.


“The issue as to exactly what happens is still a part of a new plan in terms of investigations as to what went wrong and how we change that and it would be very premature if I start giving details,” Jack said. “What I can guarantee you is this, is that the TOP is here to stay, we will be reviewing where we are and we will be doing everything to ensure that we remain the very formidable force that we have grown to be in the last four years,” he said.


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