Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut November 14, 2013 - 1:56 pm

Elections Nunavut: Rankin Inlet South voters go back to the polls Feb. 10

"It's unfortunate that Rankin South doesn't have a voice in determining who the premier and ministers will be"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Elections Nunavut said that the voters of Rankin Inlet South will again try to choose an MLA in a by-election scheduled for Feb. 10, 2014.
Elections Nunavut said that the voters of Rankin Inlet South will again try to choose an MLA in a by-election scheduled for Feb. 10, 2014.

Voters in Rankin Inlet South will wait about three months to make another attempt to elect a member of the Nunavut legislative assembly.

Elections Nunavut tweeted Nov. 14 that a by-election for the deadlocked riding will be held Feb. 10, 2014

After the Oct. 28 Nunavut election, the only two candidates to run for the position — Lorne Kusugak and Alexander Sammurtok — were tied in a dead heat at 172 votes each.

That deadlock remained after a judicial recount, which took place Nov. 5 in Iqaluit.

The total number voters on the riding’s voter list is 615.

Only 57 per cent turned out to vote, with six rejected ballots.

The writ for the by-election will drop Jan. 6, 2014. That’s when the candidates may begin submitting declarations of candidates and the official campaign period begins.

Any eligible Nunavut voter may run in the by-election.

Sammurtok told Nunatsiaq News immediately following the Nov. 5 recount that he plans to run in the by-election.

Kusugak, the incumbent MLA for the old riding of Rankin Inlet South-Whale Cove, plans on running as well. 

Kusugak only learned about the by-election date after speaking to Nunatsiaq News Nov. 14.

“I’m definitely running,” he said. “I’ve always been certain that I plan to run.”

“I’ve had a lot of calls and visits [since the election] from people who want to make sure I’m running because they want a strong voice in the legislature and in Rankin.”

No representatives from Rankin Inlet South will attend the Nunavut leadership forum, which will occur Nov. 15 in Iqaluit.

Kusugak admits it’s tough to miss out on the leadership forum, even ‘though he said he never had any intention of running for the premier’s position, or for cabinet.

“It’s unfortunate that Rankin South doesn’t have a voice in determining who the premier and ministers will be,” he said.

“It’s a key strategic time, because you’re influencing who makes up the cabinet; it’s your beliefs as to where the government should go.”

Kusugak said he’s not yet sure if or how he’ll change his campaign strategy going into the by-election.

‘We’ll continue to do the basics, either way — door-to-door, going on the radio, to makes sure people know I’m running,” he said.

- with files from Sarah Rogers

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