Edmonton

Jaffer concedes race, ties the knot

Conservative election candidate Rahim Jaffer officially conceded defeat in Edmonton-Strathcona to the NDP's Linda Duncan late Thursday afternoon.

Conservative federal election candidate Rahim Jaffer officially conceded defeat in Edmonton-Strathcona to the NDP's Linda Duncan late Thursday afternoon.

Duncan defeated Jaffer in Tuesday's vote, making her the only non-Conservative to win a seat in Alberta. 

Jaffer, who has been the MP for Edmonton-Strathcona since 1997, had refused to concede until the riding's returning officer validated the results.

The results were validated by the riding's returning officer Thursday afternoon.

"There is a victor, and that victor is my NDP opponent, Linda Duncan," he told reporters at his campaign headquarters. "So I would like to take this moment to congratulate her and her team in a hard-fought campaign, probably the hardest I've ever fought, of course, in this riding since probably my first one."

Jaffer said the results have changed since what was reported election night, but just slightly.

He defended his decision not to concede for two days, saying there was a missing poll that he said wasn't found until early Thursday.

"There was a number of things .… I guess Elections Canada and the returning office were having challenges in finding the final numbers," he said.

On the night of the election, Jaffer made a victory speech after two television networks declared him the winner.  He had to tell reporters later in the evening that his statement was premature, after more polls came in and the results started to change. 

That's why he decided to stay silent until the results were validated.

"I didn't want that to happen again," he said. 

Jaffer also announced to reporters that he married his fiancée, Helena Guergis, Conservative MP for the Ontario riding of Simcoe-Grey, on Wednesday.

The couple announced their engagement in October 2007.

Guergis, who was elected in Simcoe-Grey for a third term on Tuesday night, flew to Edmonton on Wednesday. 

When Jaffer picked her up at the airport, she told him she wanted to get married right away.

Jaffer said he plans to take some time off now that he is no longer an MP, and he didn't rule out running again.