Manitoba NDP plan to have new leader by October 2017

The party's provincial council met Saturday and decided that a replacement for former premier Greg Selinger will be chosen, at the latest, by the end of October 2017.

1-member-1 vote system could favour former cabinet minister Steve Ashton

Manitoba's interim NDP leader Flor Marcelino speaks to media after the provincial budget is read in the Manitoba Legislature on May 31. (Canadian Press/John Woods)

Manitoba New Democrats will have a new leader by late next year.

The party's provincial council met Saturday and decided that a replacement for former premier Greg Selinger will be chosen, at the latest, by the end of October 2017.

Selinger announced he would step down after losing the April 19 election, and has been replaced on an interim basis by former cabinet minister Flor Marcelino.

The council also decided that a party convention will be held before the end of next March to lay down ground rules and address some of the controversies that surrounded the 2015 leadership race, which saw Selinger barely survive an internal coup.

Party president Ovide Mercredi says the party will work out how much of a role the labour movement will play, whether the party will use delegates to choose a leader or allow every member a vote, and other matters.

In the 2015 race, labour unions were allotted 31 per cent of delegate slots, and almost half of those went to the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which backed Selinger.

Theresa Oswald, who came within 33 votes of unseating Selinger, protested the allotment but the party brass ruled against her.

The NDP constitution "needs to be clarified. It needs to be completed," Mercredi said Saturday.

No one has declared their candidacy so far.

A one-member-one vote system could favour former cabinet minister Steve Ashton, who has run twice for the party leadership and has signed up large numbers of new party members each time.

Ashton, 60, finished third in the 2015 leadership race, and has not ruled out another try.