Pauloosie Keyootak elected MLA for Uqqummiut in byelection

Residents of Clyde River and Qikiqtarjuaq have a new representative in the Nunavut legislature. Pauloosie Keyootak won the byelection for the Uqqummiut seat, which has been vacant since Samuel Nuqingaq was expelled from the legislature.

Seat has been vacant since Samuel Nuqingaq was expelled from the legislature

Pauloosie Keyootak will represent the residents of Clyde River and Qikiqtarjuaq in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly, after receiving the most votes in Monday's byelection. 

The Qikiqtarjuaq resident received 220 votes, beating out Niore Iqalukjuak, who collected 195, and James Arreak, who received 105 votes.

"I know the reason they voted for me," he said in Inuktitut Monday night. "Both communities know they need a representative. The most important reason is because they need a leader and they voted to have a leader." 

Keyootak has already identified working with the hamlets and improving infrastructure as top priorities. 

"Both communities need to get docks for hunters or even fish plants for Nunavut's offshore fisheries," Keyootak told supporters at the Tulugak Inns North Hotel in Qikiqtarjuaq. 

Elections Nunavut says the voter turnout in Qikiqtarjuaq was 79 per cent. In Clyde River it was 65 per cent. 

Both James Arreak and Niore Iqalukjuak are from Clyde River. Neither is new to politics.

Arreak served as the MLA for Uqqummiut for two terms and was also a member of the cabinet. Iqalukjuak ran for the seat in the 2013 general election, when he was narrowly defeated by Samuel Nuqingaq. 

The Uqqummiut seat has been vacant since October 2014, when Nuqingaq was expelled from the legislature.

Keyootak was removed as president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association in the fall of 2000 for violating the QIA's code of conduct. Keyootak was given the option at the time of resigning and he refused.

The QIA refused to say what Keyootak did to violate the organization's code of conduct.


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