Okalik Eegeesiak elected president of Qikiqtani Inuit Association

Just 28 per cent of eligible beneficiaries cast ballots; turnout in Iqaluit only 16 per cent


(Turnout figures adjusted 2:30 p.m., Dec. 15, with new information)

Okalik Eegeesiak of Iqaluit will serve as president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association for the next two years, following her victory in a Dec. 14 by-election held to choose a replacement for the late Thomasie Alikatuktuk, who died Nov. 24 after resigning Oct. 22 for health reasons.

Eegeesiak, a former president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, defeated five other candidates: Zacharias Kunuk of Igloolik, Franco Buscemi of Iqaluit, Joe Sageatok of Iqaluit, Hezekiah Oshutapik of Pangnirtung, and Sam Omik Sr. of Pond Inlet.

She took 620 votes, 48 more than second-place finisher Kunuk.

Voter turnout across the region was miniscule: only 28 per cent of eligible beneficiaries bothered to cast ballots. QIA’s list contains the names of 8,953 eligible Inuit beneficiaries, but only 2,489 of them voted.

Turnout in Iqaluit, where Buscemi finished first, stood at only 16 per cent. In Iqaluit, 2,766 beneficiaries were eligible to vote, but only 444 cast ballots.

In Cape Dorset, only 20 per cent of eligible voters turned out. Resolute Bay recorded the highest turnout: just 52 per cent.

Joe Attagutaluk of Igloolik easily won re-election to the secretary-treasurer’s job with 1110 votes, finishing far ahead of second-place candidate Adamie Itorcheak of Iqaluit, who polled 654 votes.

Also on Dec, 14, eligible beneficiaries elected community directors in four communities: Levi Barnabas (Arctic Bay), Olayuk Akesuk (Cape Dorset), Stevie Audlakiak (Qikiqtarjuaq), and Jaypeetee Audlakiak (Hall Beach.)

Here are the raw, unofficial tallies:


Okalik Eegeesiak: 620
Zacharias Kunuk: 572
Sam Omik Sr.: 492
Franco Buscemi: 339
Hezekiah Oshutapik: 270
Joe Sageatok: 183


Joe Attagutaluk: 1110
Adamie Itorcheak: 654
Solomon Allurut: 477
Israel Mablick: 248

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