Why did the DLP Executive Council overturn members’ choice of Taan Abed?
A little over a month ago at the DLP Christ Church West constituency’s candidate nomination meeting, Taan Abed won an overwhelming victory (86 to 5!) over lawyer Verla DePeiza.
The party leaders weren’t pleased that the constituency members soundly rejected the DLP’s anointed candidate, but that was no problem for the DLP leadership. The back-room boys stepped in and appointed DePeiza anyway. There. That showed those little nothing people who think they have a voice in Christ Church West!
So much for democracy and so much for process. What a sham. Typical political elites: If the rules or the law are inconvenient, or the outcome isn’t what the big-ups want – they just tell everyone to get stuffed and do what they like. Been that way ’bout this place for a long time, maybe four hundred years or so.
Why was Taan Abed’s selection overturned? Why did they bother to let him run in the first place if the whole selection process was a sham anyway? The party bosses were hoping that the constituency members would do the job for them, but when that didn’t work they stepped in.
Why was Taan Abed rejected by the DLP backroom?
Could it be that they know he is unelectable in Barbados because of his race?
Background story courtesy of Barbados Today: Dems drop Taan Abed
Please read the Barbados Today story at their website, but in case the story gets “accidentally” deleted as sometimes happens in Barbados, we’ll reprint the whole thing here. (We haven’t seen Barbados Today deleting a story for political reasons, but better safe than sorry etc. It happens all the time at the Nation and the Barbados Advocate.)
Dems drop Taan Abed
by Shawn Cumberbatch
Businessman Taan Abed’s virtual de-selection as the ruling party’s general election candidate for Christ Church West is causing controversy.
Having been chosen by that branch of the Democratic Labour Party in May after a landslide victory over four others, attorney-at-law Verla De Peiza, Edwin Adams, previous candidate Peter Barrow and well-known broadcaster Patrick Gollop, Abed was overlooked in favour of De Peiza last night during a meeting of the DLP’s Executive Council.
When the decision-making was all over at party headquarters, the George Street Auditorium in Belleville, Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Harry Husbands also got the nod over 2008 candidate Austin Husbands to run as a first-timer in St. James North.
Additionally, school teacher Dennis Holder won approval as the party’s candidate for St. Joseph. The teacher at St. Andrew’s Primary had defeated Government Senator Andre Worrell, with branch members giving him 60 votes to Worrell’s 10.
Abed, who represented the DLP in the January 2008 general election had been the overwhelming choice of the Christ Church West branch, polling a whopping 86 of the overall 95 ballots cast, with De Peiza receiving five, Barrow three, Adams one, while Gollop failed to gain the support of any branch member.
Today a surprised and visibly disappointed Abed, along with his family, including son and campaign manager Gabriel Abed, and supporters were all in shock, as he received calls and visitors at his Rendezvous Christ Church home.
The Managing Director of New Way Auto Repairs, who lives and works in the constituency, did not say much when Barbados TODAY visited his home, but voiced his disappointment, and said a number of branch members had told him they intended to resign because of the manner in which he was overlooked.
Abed, who ran against incumbent BLP MP Dr. William Duguid in the January 2008 election, securing 1,859 votes to Duguid’s 2,510 votes, said he was not leaving the party, but was unhappy with how he was treated.
His son was more vocal, saying “it is unfortunate that our party leaders have come to such miscalculated decision”.
“My father has worked long and hard on his seat and made sure he was always available to anyone that needed his assistance. This is a very emotional time for our family, friends and supporters as we have all played a major role in helping to reshape the relationship between a politian and the people he represents,” the younger Abed said.
“We have done well to form a bond that was not politically affiliated, but one of care and understanding. This is very rare to see in today’s political arena, but we were very successful. My father touched the people and I think anyone that comes along afterwards is going to find that they have some very large shoes to fill and its likely they will be very unsuccessful in doing so.
“As it currently stands, my father remains a loyal member of the Democratic Labour Party. However, as for myself, I am not sure what direction I wish to take as I am very upset by the blindsiding outcome of last night’s voting. It is obvious that I am disappointed by the final result as I was under the impression that our political party will follow the choice of the people. Apparently this is democracy,” he added.
A senior member of the DLP told Barbados TODAY the party’s hierarchy was simply following the institution’s constitution, which did not guarantee that someone chosen by a branch was the “automatic candidate”.
“The party leader will make the announcements at the appropriate time. This party is busy right now looking after the interest of the people at all levels. We are also focussed on preparations for our annual conference, which is due two weekends from now,” he said, adding that there was nothing personal against Abed.
When contacted General Secretary George Pilgrim declined comment on the candidate selection process or the decision to chose De Peiza over someone the branch preferred.
Two members of the branch, who did not want to be identified, said their intention was to resign in a show of support for Abed.
“Today the people of Christ Church West are outraged that a dedicated man like Taan Abed and true representative of this area for the last six years has been unceremoniously dumped,” one said.
“A lot of people have resigned from the branch. The people that have been notified about this have been resigning. The DLP will lose a lot of support in this constituency over this.”