Cree voters in the James Bay region of Quebec will have to wait a little longer to find out who will be their new Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chief.
In an election Thursday, no one candidate in either race received the 50 per cent plus one needed to win on a first ballot.
The runoff election for Grand Chief will be between Abel Bosum and Rodney Mark. Bosum is a longtime Quebec negotiator for the Cree Nation Government and former chief of the inland community of Oujé-Bougoumou.
Rodney Mark is the current Deputy Grand Chief and a former longtime chief of the coastal community of Wemindji.
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Unofficial results showed Bosum with a total of 2,229 votes, or 40 per cent of ballots cast. Mark was his closest competition with 1,171 votes and 21 per cent of votes.
They were running to replace current Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come, who surprised many in June by announcing he would not be seeking re-election after 40 years of public life.
For Deputy Grand Chief the runoff will be between Mandy Gull and John Matoush.
Gull is the current Deputy Chief for the inland community of Waswanipi and has been a key figure in an international fight to protect one of Quebec's last remaining virgin boreal forests in the Broadback river watershed.
Matoush is a former youth chief in Mistissini and was Youth Grand Chief from 2005 to 2008 as well as a councillor in his home community of Mistissini for several years.
Unofficial results released early this morning showed Gull had received 2,415 votes or 44 per cent, while Matoush received 2,102 or 38 per cent.
There were 13,958 eligible voters across the 450,000 square kilometres of territory. Voter turnout was lower than in the last Grand Council election, falling below 40 per cent.
In the last Grand Council elections, in 2013, voter turnout was of 47 per cent.
The runoff election will take place July 24 with advanced polls open July 21.