P.E.I. Green Party withdraws District 9 candidate
The withdrawal is a result of a ruling by Chief Electoral Officer Tim Garrity
The Green Party of P.E.I. has withdrawn Susan Hartley as a contestant from Friday's nomination vote for the District 9 deferred election, the party said in a news release.
The withdrawal is a result of a ruling by Chief Electoral Officer Tim Garrity on the interpretation of a section of the Election Act.
"There was a question that came forward from the Green Party themselves just asking about this part of the Election Act and asking for our interpretation of it," Garrity said.
Can't run in the same election
The interpretation ruling has to do with Section 38 of the Election Act, which says that "No person shall be eligible for nomination in more than one electoral district."
Hartley was a candidate in the recent provincial election in District 2 Georgetown-Pownal, making her ineligible.
The District 9 election didn't take place due to the death of Green candidate Josh Underhay and his young son.
That means the upcoming election is not considered a byelection, but a deferred election, Garrity said.
"This District 9 election that will be taking place at some point in the near future is just an extension of the 2019 general election."
Garrity said he sent a letter with the ruling to all Island parties to clarify the rules.
Surprised by ruling
Martin Ruben, P.E.I. Green Party president said he was surprised by the ruling.
"This is the first time we have encountered a deferred election as a party."
Ruben said the party had a process to identify two qualified candidates and now the party is down to one, John Andrew.
"We had no idea that this particular part of the Election Act would apply in this case and we were very surprised."
The Green Party nomination meeting in District 9 will take place Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m. at the Hillsborough Community Centre.
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With files from Angela Walker