Voters will be heading back to the polls in Rankin Inlet South. A recount at the Nunavut Court of Justice yesterday confirmed that Lorne Kusugak and Alexander Sammurtok tied for votes in the October 28th election. Each received 172 votes.
The confirmation automatically triggers a by-election, likely to take place in the New Year. According to Nunavut’s election rules, anyone can run — not just the two candidates who tied.
Sammurtok says he’s ready to run again. “Some people want a new government,” he told the CBC in Inuktitut. “Those who voted for me probably believe that we need 24-hour care for elders and the graduates should have also training/jobs, those were my concerns.”
Kusugak said he wasn’t surprised by the recount. “I totally anticipated a tie because people who do the count, I know, wouldn't mess that one up,” he said. “It is what it is.”
But Kusugak also said he’s going to take some time to think things over before the by-election.
“I really do want to do it again, but is it the best move?” he says. “I'm very confident that I do want to run again, but again, I have to weigh a few things.”
The leadership forum to select cabinet and a premier will take place next week, without a representative from Rankin Inlet South.
Nuqingaq pleased with results
Samuel Nuqingaq was pleased with the recount for Uqqummiut (Clyde River and Qikiqtarjuaq), which found that he beat Niore Iqalukjuak by two votes.
“I know I'll have pretty good supporters from both communities,” he said. “I'm pretty excited right now.”
Nuqingaq is the first person from Qikiqtarjuaq to join the legislative assembly.