Dwain Lingenfelter rejigged critic duties among Opposition NDP MLAs on Monday. ((CBC))

Dwain Lingenfelter, the new leader of Saskatchewan's NDP, has selected Deb Higgins, one of his opponents in the party's leadership race, to take on the duties of second-in-command at the legislature.

Lingenfelter made the announcement Monday as he unveiled a slightly rejigged roster of critic duties for members of the Opposition. He was chosen as leader June 6.

In addition to serving as deputy leader, Higgins maintained her responsibilities as Opposition critic for municipal affairs.

Higgins was the only leadership contender holding a seat for the party in the Saskatchewan legislature.

"It was a hotly contested contest that went on for a number of months," Higgins told reporters at the legislature on Monday. "The party has spoken and elected Dwain as the leader and we're all more than willing to get behind Dwain and get the work done that needs to be done."


Opposition MLA Deb Higgins was named deputy leader for the NDP in the provincial legislature. ((CBC))

Lingenfelter added that he felt the party was uniting behind him.

"I've been impressed, even before today, [with] how fast people have come forward and offered to do work within a New Democratic Party," Lingenfelter said. "People are saying quite openly that what seemed to be divisions in the past eight months have come back together very nicely."

Lingenfelter said he will serve as the party's critic on agriculture matters. He has said he will seek a seat in the legislature when a byelection is held for the soon-to-be vacant seat of Regina Douglas Park.

In the meantime, Lingenfelter has tapped Len Taylor to act as interim Opposition leader.