2 seats tied, Eva Aariak loses in Nunavut election
Only 6 of 22 MLAs re-elected in territory's 4th election
Two of 22 constituencies are tied, many new faces have been elected as MLAs and Premier Eva Aariak has lost her seat as the votes have now been counted in Nunavut's fourth territorial election.
The biggest news of the night was that George Hickes beat Aariak in the constituency of Iqaluit-Tasiluk. Hickes, 44, is the son of George Hickes, the former speaker of Manitoba's legislative assembly.
"I wouldn't say I'm surprised," Hickes told CBC News. "I worked very hard." In her concession speech, Aariak thanked her team for all their hard work.
Outside of the premier losing her seat, two other races also had particularly unexpected results.
Elections Nunavut reported that Alexander Sammurtok and Lorne Kusugak tied with 172 votes each in Rankin Inlet South.
Another tie was called in Uqqummiut, where Samuel Nuqingaq of Qikiqtarjuaq and Niore Iqalukjuak of Clyde River both got 187 votes.
According to Elections Nunavut, a tie calls for an automatic judicial recount within the next 10 days. If there is still a tie after the recount, the chief electoral officer will order a new election.
Speaking to CBC News, Kusugak said he has now won one election to become a Nunavut MLA, but he's also lost one and tied one. "I've got a Gordie Howe hat trick," he told CBC News with a smile Monday night.
Youngest candidate a big winner
One surprise in the night was a landslide win by David Joanasie in South Baffin. At age 30, Joanasie was the youngest candidate to run in the election and will be the youngest ever to serve in the legislature. Joanasie took 409 votes, followed by 160 for Tommy Akavak of Kimmirut. The controversial incumbent, Fred Schell came in fourth with 43 votes.
Former premier Paul Okalik was elected in Iqaluit-Sinaa with 180 votes. Okalik has been out of territorial politics since running for the federal Liberals in 2011. Leesee Papatsie was the runner up in Sinaa with 97 votes, followed by Solomon Awa with 69.
Pat Angnakak was elected in Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu, a race where nobody could predict the outcome. Anne Crawford was the runner up there, behind by just 20 votes. Methusalah Kunuk came third, with Jack Anawak in fourth place.
Elsewhere in the capital, Monica Ell won her seat again by a landslide in the constituency of Iqaluit-Manirajak.
In western Nunavut, Keith Peterson was elected by a huge majority in Cambridge Bay. This will be his third term in the legislative assembly.
Only 3 women elected
Nunavut's fourth legislature will include three women. That's the same number as the last legislature, but the overall percentage of women has dropped, because there are now 22 seats instead of 19.
In the high Arctic, Isaac Shooyook was elected to represent Quttiktuq. Shooyook, 74 and a unilingual Inuktitut speaker, beat Ron Elliott, who had hoped for a second term and a shot at cabinet, by 80 votes.
Tom Sammurtok was elected in Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield, and Joe Enook won again in Tununiq.
Joe Savikataaq was elected in Arviat South. Allan Rumbolt was re-elected in Hudson Bay.
Steven Mapsalak was elected in Aivilik. This will be a return to politics for him—Mapsalak was the MLA for Nanulik from 2004-08. His win ousted Johnny Ningeongan, who represented Nanulik in the most recent legislature.
Newcomer Simeon Mikkungwak was elected in Baker Lake.
Tony Akoak is the new MLA for Gjoa Haven and Johnny Mike won in Pangnirtung, pushing aside incumbent Hezekiah Oshutapik.
Paul Quassa won a seat in Aggu, just ahead of John Illupalik. George Qulaut won in Ammituq. George Kuksuk won in Arviat North-Whale Cove, narrowly beating Elizabeth Copland 160 to 147.
Two people were acclaimed ahead of the Monday vote because nobody else ran in those constituencies. Peter Taptuna will represent Kugluktuk, and Jeannie Ugyuk will represent Netsilik.
With no political parties, the premier won't be known until the 22 members vote on a leader next month. And then that person will name his or her cabinet.
The last time Nunavut went to the polls in 2008, 71 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots — far higher than the Canadian average.
This time just under 70 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.