Eegeesiak pulled from ballot in Iqaluit Centre
Candidate had been Nunavut resident for 10 months, not 12: RCMP investigation
Okalik Eegeesiak is being struck from the ballot before the Oct. 27 territorial election, after an RCMP investigation concluded that Eegeesiak did not meet the 12-month residency requirement for candidates.
Eegeesiak has been ordered by Elections Nunavut to temporarily suspend her campaign and fundraising efforts, and to attend a teleconference hearing set for Wednesday.
Chief electoral officer Sandy Kusugak told CBC News late Friday that she has imposed a temporary suspension on Eegeesiak's campaign until the hearing.
Unless Eegeesiak can effectively prove on Wednesday that the information the RCMP has is wrong, and that she had lived in Iqaluit for 12 consecutive months before election day, she will be permanently barred from campaigning on Wednesday, Kusugak said.
However, Kusugak said she is moving ahead with removing Eegeesiak's name from the ballots in Iqaluit Centre.
Eegeesiak has claimed that she is a resident of the Nunavut capital and is thus eligible to run in the territorial election, despite having to spend some time in Ottawa for work.
But Kusugak said RCMP investigators determined that Eegeesiak had moved back to Nunavut in December 2007.
Under the Nunavut Elections Act, candidates have to have been residents of Nunavut since Oct. 27, 2007.
Advance ballots deemed invalid
The RCMP began its investigation last week, when a complaint was filed claiming Eegeesiak does not meet the 12-month residency requirement.
In addition to ensuring Eegeesiak's name is removed from the ballot on election day, Kusugak said any advance ballots that have already been cast for Eegeesiak will be deemed invalid, and won't count towards the final vote tally for Iqaluit Centre.
However, Eegeesiak has not been charged. Kusugak said a decision on whether to lay charges lies with the RCMP.
Eegeesiak told CBC News that she was stunned and upset by the latest development and was not prepared to comment further.
Other candidates in that race are incumbent Hunter Tootoo, Madeleine Redfern, and Joe Sageaktook.