Taan still the man

Independent candidate for Christ Church West, Taan Abed, right gets a warm embrace from Lionel Cain Jr while paying a visit to the Bonnett’s, Brittons Hill, St. Michael.

He did not gain the nod of his party’s Executive Council nor its General Council to run in the upcoming general election, but former Democratic Labour Party candidate, Taan Abed, seems to have strong support in some pockets of the Christ Church West constituency.

When a team from Barbados TODAY caught up with him and his campaign manager, Oriel Johnson, last Friday, in Navy Gardens, Christ Church, it was evident that some residents were welcoming Abed with open arms into their homes.

Constituent, Dian Heighton, an American citizen, stressed that even though she is not eligible to vote because of her status, she assured Abed that her husband would vote for him.

She told Abed: “I like you because I remembered you from the last general election and I really think you are basically an honest man who will offer good representation to the constituency if you are elected.”

However, it was in the working class district of Bonnett’s in Brittons Hill, that support for Abed’s support was overwhelming.

Herbert Kirton of Bonnett’s said: “Abed is the only DLP candidate that gave such a good showing in any election against any Barbados Labour Party candidate in Christ Church West. He is the only DLP candidate that can interact with the constituents in the upper class sections of the constituency and the working class districts.

Taan Abed, and Campaign Manager, Oriel Johnson, examine a list of register of electors while canvassing Navy Garden, Christ Church.

“Abed is definitely our man. He is king man in Bonnett’s. We can bring any problem to him and he would try to address it. My family and I are backing him in this election.”

Another Bonnett’sconstituent said with some disgust that he had never seen either Dr. Maria Agard of the Barbados Labour Party or Verla De Peiza of the DLP in the area.†Lionel Cain Jr described Abed was the only politician who was able to convince his father Lionel Cain Snr, who was a diehard BLP supporter, to vote for the DLP in the last general election.

The younger Cain however expressed some disappointment that after he and his entire family had supported the DLP in the last election he was unable to get any assistance from DLP parliamentarians for his daughter, who has been unemployed for the duration of the DLP’s term in office.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Barbados TODAY, Abed questioned the DLP’s commitment to the democratic process. He recalled that in the nomination process he defeated De Peiza by the wide margin of 86 votes to five, while the two leadership bodies of the party refused to give his candidacy the approval.

He further recalled that during the 2008 general election he garnered 1,859 votes or 43 per cent of the ballots cast, to Dr. William Duguid’s 2,510 or 57 per cent.

Stressing his earlier commitment to the DLP, Abed said: “I subscribe to the Christian religion and I have been a citizen of Barbados for the past 37 years. I have served on the party’s Executive Council and the General Council… Since the 2008 general election I have served †on the board of directors of the Grantley Adams International Airport.

“I am the only candidate contesting the Christ Church West who lives in the constituency. Following [Tropical Storm] Tomas, I was able to have several homes repaired through the assitance of the private sector. I have guaranteed student loans for constituents and assisted the youth in sports. I have given away hampers to constituents during the Christmas season and during the year.”

Abed has replaced the sign at the entrance to his home, which once showed he was a candidate of the DLP, with onother clearly stating that he is an independent candidate. (NC)

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