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Former Liard First Nation chief challenges election results in court

Former chief George Morgan is challenging the results of the Liard First Nation's June election. Morgan, who lost to Stephen Charlie by four votes, claims in a court petition that Charlie was ineligible to run and that there were voting irregularities.

George Morgan alleges voting irregularities, and that winner Stephen Charlie was ineligible

Former Liard First Nation Chief George Morgan has filed a petition in Yukon Supreme Court seeking to have the results of the First Nation's June election for chief overturned. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Former chief George Morgan is challenging the results of the Liard First Nation's June election.

Morgan narrowly lost to challenger Stephen Charlie, initially by six votes, although the margin dropped to four after a recount.

In a petition filed with the Yukon Supreme Court, Morgan alleges Charlie was living in the Northwest Territories and not eligible to run.

Morgan also claims there were voting irregularities. The petition alleges tabs were torn off ballots prior to voting, the ballot box wasn't sealed and that the ballot count was interrupted.

Morgan claims Colleen Craft, the chief returning officer, kicked people out of the voting area, shut down a live feed of voting and placed people on the voters list without requiring them to show proper identification.

Craft "made procedural decisions which indicated a clear bias against Morgan and were undertaken in an effort to have Morgan defeated," the petition states.

None of the allegations has been proven in court. The petition, filed July 29, names Charlie, Craft, the Liard First Nation and its election committee as respondents.

Morgan wants the court to declare Charlie ineligible as a candidate or for the court to set aside the election results and order a new vote.

In June, Charlie criticized the Yukon government for announcing a $50-million package of upgrades to the Robert Campbell Highway just days before the vote, saying it gave Morgan an unfair advantage. Morgan, then still chief, took part in a news conference about the announcement.

A case management conference for the petition is scheduled for August 25.

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