Nfld. & Labrador

PC candidate files challenge to election results in St. Barbe-L'anse aux Meadows

PC candidate Sheila Fitzgerald is the latest to turn to the courts to challenge the results of last month's general election.

Sheila Fitzgerald argues Bruce Chaulk failed in his duty to run fair election

Defeated PC candidate Sheila Fitzgerald filed a court challenge Wednesday that argues against the validity of the province's recent general election. (Sheila Fitzgerald/Facebook)

A third candidate in last month's provincial election has turned to the courts to challenge the outcome.

PC candidate Sheila Fitzgerald lost the district of St. Barbe-L'Anse aux Meadows by 216 votes to Liberal Krista Lynn Howell.

Fitzgerald's 21-page application, filed Wednesday, argues that Elections NL head Bruce Chaulk failed in his duty to administer the conduct of elections with fairness, impartiality and compliance with the Elections Act, and the duty to make every reasonable effort to have the vote taken.

She's asking for the results in her district to be marked void, and if she's successful, a new election would be held for her district.

Fitzgerald's challenge follows a similar one from PC candidate Jim Lester, who filed his affidavit earlier this week after losing to Liberal Lucy Stoyles by 109 votes in Mount Pearl North.

Fitzgerald has not responded to several requests for comment from CBC News.

Jim Lester lost the district of Mount Pearl North by 109 votes to Liberal Lucy Stoyles in last month's provincial election. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada)

Shortly after the throne speech from the House of Assembly on Thursday, which kicked off the 50th general assembly, interim Opposition leader David Brazil spoke with reporters about the court challenges now in place for two of his party's candidates. 

"We've said from the beginning that we encourage any member, any candidate, who felt that this election had an impact on their outcome to exercise their democratic right under the Elections Act and to challenge it as such," Brazil said. 

"The party themselves, the executive, will decide what exact role they'll play in that whole process, but I do know the two candidates that were candidates for us have exercised their democratic right and we're wishing them well in that and we support their right to do what they need to do."

NDP Leader Alison Coffin has two challenges before the courts. One is for a recount in her district of of St. John's East-Quidi Vidi, and the other is a joint claim with resident Whymarrh Whitby calling for the results of the election in St. John's East-Quidi Vidi to be marked void. 

Coffin told reporters on Thursday there's a constituency assistant in her district who is dealing directly with individual concerns while her challenges are before the courts.

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