No rush for Liberal leadership race

A permanent replacement for Kevin Aylward may not be selected for two years, the provincial Liberal president says.
Kevin Aylward, who became Liberal leader in August and led the party to six seats in October's election, will step down as soon as the party picks a replacement. (CBC )

A permanent replacement for Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward may not be selected until two years from now, the provincial party president says.

Liberal future

Catch the full interview with Judy Morrow on On Point with David Cochrane, airing on CBC Television on Saturday at 1 p.m. NT, 12:30 p.m. in most of Labrador

"I think what we've got to do, we've got to look for a natural born leader," Judy Morrow told CBC News, as the party executive prepares to meet this week to discuss a leadership plan.

Aylward, who led the party to six seats in October's election but failed to win his own race, has said he will step down as soon as the party picks an interim or permanent leader.

In an interview airing this weekend on On Point with David Cochrane, Morrow said the party has a remarkable amount of work to do, and that a full-fledged leadership campaign is not a priority.

"We've got an opportunity now," Morrow said. "Let's call a spade a spade — we've just come through a horrific time."

Morrow said she would expect a race and convention to be called for between 18 to 24 months from now.

Asked if a leadership race would be called for late 2013, Morrow replied, "Yes, that's what I'm thinking, and it takes a long time to plan these events and the rollout of an appropriate leadership convention, so I would suspect it is going to run us into 2013."

Morrow said the executive still has to reach a decision, and will meet throughout the week before reaching final conclusions.

Meanwhile, Liberals still need to pick an interim leader from inside the six-member caucus. Party insiders said the top candidate for that job is Humber Valley MHA Dwight Ball. Yvonne Jones, who stepped down as party leader this summer to recover from cancer treatments, has maintained her status for now as Opposition leader.