You can count businessman Taan Abed out of the running for Christ Church West.
After contesting the seat for the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 2008 and then as an independent in 2013, Abed has told Barbados TODAY he is definitely out of the electoral race – at least as a political candidate.
However, Abed, who is still seething from the overturn of his nomination by the DLP back in 2013, has shifted his support to the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and its leader Mia Mottley in the next general election.
Abed’s name recently came up as a possible replacement for Dr Maria Agard, the sitting representative for Christ Church West, who was expelled from the BLP at the height of tensions between her and Mottley.
In fact, it was retired grassroots politician Hamilton Lashley who in an interview with Barbados TODAY late last month, suggested that the businessman was his ideal candidate for the southern riding even though he only got 303 votes in the last general election to 1,777 by the DLP’s Verla DePeiza and 2,288 by Dr Agard.
“If I had to choose a candidate up there on either side I would choose Mr Taan Abed,” Lashley declared then to Barbados TODAY.
He noted that Abed had defeated DePeiza, an attorney-at-law, by more than 600 votes in an internal election to select the DLP candidate for the seat in 2013, but was eventually sidelined in favour of DePeiza as the party’s flag bearer.
“That means that he began with a minimum of 600 personal votes. Imagine this, Taan Abed with a minimum of 600 personal votes, which is a lot of votes in a constituency like that. Imagine him [as] a BLP [candidate] at this time . . . the result is that he would win the seat.
“That is clear, clear!” Lashley said.
However, speaking to Barbados TODAY at his Rockley, Christ Church, home yesterday, Abed revealed that he had decided to throw his support behind Mottley and the BLP.
“Mottley comes from a distinguished political family. Her father and mother are people of dignity.
“I do not care about her personal life, because I am aware she has a vision for the country. . . [and] I am going to support Dr William Duguid or whoever is the BLP’s candidate,” said Abed.
However, he criticized the governing party of which he had been a member for the past 28 years, saying, “members of the working class on assuming high office seem to distance themselves from their class. Look at the members of the DLP and you will see that they have severed their links with their social class.”
He also complained that “several of the current Cabinet ministers and DLP used to visit my home on a regular basis” but that they no longer visited.
“They used to pour out their frustrations at my home while in opposition. However, now that they are enjoying the spoils of office they have found new friends. I gave my time and funds to this party, but the current leaders do not care about the youth of Barbados nor the elders,” Abed charged.
Harking back to the 2013 nomination vote which he won before being bypassed by the DLP’s General Council, a still hurt Abed recalled that even after he brought his case to the attention of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart no attempt was made to address the issue.
He also voiced concern over comments made by some senior members of the DLP following the overturn of his nomination.
“A member of Cabinet told me to my face, I am a Hitler. He also said there is no room for a white man like me in the House of Assembly. This was said to me even though I have lived in Barbados for the past 35 years and my three children were born and educated here [and] are now productive members of the society.”
Abed pointed out that several members of his family had made substantial investments not only in Barbados but throughout the Caribbean, suggesting that, if given the opportunity, he could bring massive investments from the Middle East to the island.