The P.E.I. Liberal party is moving quickly to declare its candidate for an upcoming byelection in the district of Charlottetown-Parkdale, and at least one other party is fast-tracking its timetable in order to keep up.
Former education minister Doug Currie abruptly announced his resignation last Thursday, Oct. 19. Five days later, the Liberal party announced a nomination meeting would be held Monday, Oct. 30, to select a candidate for the byelection to fill his vacant seat.
- 'I've had a good run': Doug Currie resigning from politics
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After the Liberal announcement, the Green party quickly followed suit.
Greens see November byelection in offing
In a media release issued Wednesday, the party said it will also hold a nomination meeting Monday night.
For both parties, the speed with which they're declaring candidates means those in the running will not be able to sign up new members to the party.
For the Liberals, members have to be signed up for 10 days before they can vote in a nomination. For the Green party, it's 30 days.
Premier yet to make the call
It's up to Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan to call the byelection, and he has six months to do so. According to the province's Election Act, there has to be between 26 and 32 days of campaigning between the issuing of the election writ and voting day.
Liberal party president Scott Barry said he didn't have any inside information as to when the premier would make the call, but said the party wanted to settle the nomination before the fall sitting of the legislature begins Nov. 14.
"We don't want it to become an afterthought. Once the session goes back in, there will obviously be a lot more activity and interest in terms of the goings-on inside the legislature," Barry said.
"It is something that usually you would be looking at a meeting being set out far enough to allow for the new memberships to be signed up, but given some of the timing in play … it is something that is a little bit out of the ordinary, but everyone was onside with it."
A spokesperson for the PC Party said it requires a three-week lead-up to a nomination meeting, but if the writ comes the party is able to override that and hold its nomination meeting within 48 hours.
NDP Leader Mike Redmond told CBC News there are people interested in running for the party, and the issue will be decided in the next several weeks.
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