Abed: Referendum needed

Former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) member and general election candidate, Taan Abed, has come out strongly against Barbados becoming a republic without the Government consulting the people through a referendum.

Abed issued a caution to Barbadians today following a suggestion by embattled Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington, that there was no need for a referendum on the issue.

The outspoken political activist said Carrington, in light of his recent legal troubles, should tread carefully when speaking on any serious political issue.

Taan Abed
Taan Abed (FP). 

Carrington’s comments followed Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s announcement last month that he hopes to complete the decolonization process which began with Independence from Britain in 1966 by making Barbados a republic by next year.

Condemning any attempt to make the switch without consulting the electorate, Abed noted: “Canada has a population of 27 million and still has a monarchical form of government. Australia also has a population which runs into the millions and still has a monarchical form of government.

Abed expressed fears there may be some fall-out for tourism if Barbados severs ties with the British monarchy by becoming a republic since Britain supplies the bulk of visitors to the island.

He added: “Barbados depends on Britain for most of its visitors during our winter tourist season . . . . Barbados has a population of a mere quarter million people, yet our political directorate thinks that it should sever ties with the monarchy.

“What happens if Barbados faces hostilities from another sovereign state? Can we call on Britain for military assistance in our time of trouble?” he asked.

Abed, who is of Syrian extraction, contended that switching to republican status without consulting the people would be a display of undemocratic behaviour for which some Middle Eastern governments were known.

“I have been living in Barbados for the past 40 years and respect Barbados’ democratic traditions. My children were born in Barbados and I want to leave a country in which they can pursue their legitimate pursuits in peace and quiet. They received their education at some of the best schools in this country and I have a sense of commitment to this country,” Abed said.

He went on: “Generally, politicians are shortsighted and only care about the next general election and their pension rights. I would advise all Barbadians to think clearly before they are drawn into a republican form of government.”

9 Responses to Abed: Referendum needed

  1. Emma St.John
    Emma St.John April 18, 2015 at 9:02 am

    and that’s why he’s a former DLP member lol lol lol

    Reply
  2. Joseph Harding
    Joseph Harding April 18, 2015 at 9:07 am

    These are the poorest reason not to become a Republic. Canada, Australia with bigger populations, aren’t. Suppose we are invaded by another country. What trash.
    I can understand the reasoning of having a referendum but all other given reasons including the tourism one in my opinion is just baseless. What happens if & when we arrive at that stage and the electorate say yes to a Republic.

    Reply
  3. Joseph Harding
    Joseph Harding April 18, 2015 at 9:07 am

    These are the poorest reason not to become a Republic. Canada, Australia with bigger populations, aren’t. Suppose we are invaded by another country. What trash.
    I can understand the reasoning of having a referendum but all other given reasons including the tourism one in my opinion is just baseless. What happens if & when we arrive at that stage and the electorate say yes to a Republic.

    Reply
  4. Meakai April 18, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Dear Prime Minister Stuart,
    I am not a member of your choir, but if it is even remotely possible that you have more testicular fortiude than former Prime Minister Arthur, please ignore all these calls for a referendum.

    Reply
  5. Josephene Harding April 19, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Barbados should not allow ourselves to be turned into a republic. The Queen has a right to fire the Minister of Finance, as Barbadian I do not want to see this right removed! I do not have faith in our leaders to appoint wise Finance Ministers and have control to keep them in that post. No thanks no republic.

    Reply
  6. J. Payne April 19, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    He have too much common sense for that party. Barbados couldn’t even handle its own judiciary and had to wind up giving it to the Trinis to manage.

    Reply
  7. Bajan boy.. April 20, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Taan you are absolutely correct but when politicians care more more themselves,their egos and legacy more than the country expect anything..

    Reply
  8. Roosevelt Brome April 20, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I am absolutely amazed that a person with this man’s political profile believes that British people would stay away from Barbados because of republican status. Many British people don’t know we are independent; those who do are surprised that we still are subjects of their queen. They care about their safety, our way of life, and value for money.

    Reply
  9. Bobo April 22, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    The ignorance of these local comment will testify people who exist physical in the ”present” the future and yonder is no not their call.

    good luck T Abed

    Reply

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