N.W.T. Premier Kakfwi wins vote of confidence

N.W.T. MLAs vote for Kakfwi to stay on as Premier, MLA complains of pressure before non-confidence vote

Northwest Territories premier Stephen Kakfwi fought off a rebellion in his legislature Monday and announced his decision to stay on the job.

"I want to serve," Kakfwi told a full assembly and a packed public gallery. "I want to finish my job."

Shortly after, MLAs voted 13-1 in favour of a motion expressing confidence in the government. Four abstained.

Earlier on Monday, a member of the Legislative Assembly in the Northwest Territories said he'd been intimidated in advance of the non-confidence vote aimed at the premier and his cabinet.

The premier faced two non-confidence votes on Monday, one aimed at him, the other at the entire cabinet.

Some MLAs said Kakfwi applied pressure to try to get their votes.

David Krutko said he has been getting a lot of calls telling him how to vote, and he said they aren't coming from his constituents.

"I have been intimidated to a point where I do not like what I see," he said.

The lone MLA who opposed the motion said the real issue is the government's increasing arrogance. Kakfwi's refusal to follow the committee's recommendations was the final straw, said Floyd Roland, MLA for Inuvik Boot Lake.

"A few conciliatory words spoken by the premier would have ended this way back," he said. "Instead, a stance of 'My way or the highway' that came out has only helped to put us in this situation."

Kakfwi said last week he would quit after a scathing report was released calling for the resignation of a cabinet minister and three government employees.

On Thursday, he asked the people of the territory to express their support for his leadership. By Friday, he was able to produce 20 letters and e-mails from aboriginal leaders, businesses and individual people asking him to stay on.

Kakfwi will face another vote of confidence by secret ballot on Wednesday.