Akulliq byelection scheduled for Dec. 15
People living in Repulse Bay and Kugaaruk, Nunavut, will finally choose their MLA next month, after a court challenge cancelled the voting there in last month's territorial election.
Elections Nunavut announced Friday that it has scheduled a byelection in the Akulliq constituency on Dec. 15.
Chief electoral officer Sandy Kusugak told CBC News that the writ will be issued on Monday. Residents in the riding will have until Nov. 14 to declare their candidacy.
"The declarations of candidacy can be submitted between the 10th and the 14th of November at 2 p.m. central time," Kusugak said Friday.
"We're operating, in this case, in two time zones, so it will be 1 p.m. in Kugaaruk time [mountain time] and 2 p.m. in Repulse Bay time," or central time.
Unlike for the Oct. 27 general election, Kusugak said only those living in the Akulliq constituency can run in the byelection.
The byelection comes right after a Nunavut Court judge decided Thursday to dismiss a constitutional challenge by former Nunavut MP Jack Anawak, who had wanted to run in Akulliq during the general election.
Anawak, who was barred from running because he had not lived in Nunavut for 12 consecutive months before the Oct. 27 election date, had argued that the residency requirements in the Nunavut Elections Act violated his Charter rights.
But in a decision handed down Thursday, Nunavut Court Judge Earl Johnson said Anawak was "confusing" his right to vote and run for public office with his right to vote and run in Inuit institutions.
In Akulliq, incumbent Steve Mapsalak was running against two other men in the general election contest before it was cancelled in early October while Anawak's appeal was before the courts.
There is no word yet on who will declare their candidacy in the byelection.