Byelection to be called in Weyburn-Big Muddy
An election date hasn't been set yet, but people in Weyburn could be electing a new member of the provincial legislature some time in June.
Last week, Weyburn Big Muddy MLA Brenda Bakken-Lackey said she was leaving politics and is resigning her seat effective Feb. 28.
By law, Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert must call a byelection within six months of a seat becoming vacant.
Calvert said Tuesday he hasn't yet decided exactly when he'll call it, but he doesn't want the election to interfere with spring seeding.
Bakken-Lackey, a Saskatchewan Party MLA, issued a cryptic news release describing her frustrations with the "political system".
She hasn't returned CBC's phone calls to say what that meant. However, she told the Regina Leader-Post newspaper she had frustrations with her own caucus, as well as the political system as a whole.
Calvert said that could make the race to replace her an interesting one.
"Somebody is being muzzled or something is happening in the caucus that signals to me significant division," he said.
"Therefore, as the Saskatchewan Party will prepare for this byelection, there is obviously going to be some issues in the Weyburn constituency."
The Sask. Party denies internal problems now that Bakken-Lackey is gone. Party leader Brad Wall said he was saddened by the announcement of her departure and wished her well.
Both sides say they believe they can win the by-election.
Bakken Lackey won by about 400 votes in the 2003 general election that left the NDP with a razor-thin majority – 30 seats to 28 for the Sask. Party.
Two NDP cabinet ministers – Peter Prebble and Joanne Crofford – also said last week they were retiring, but both said they'd remain as MLAs until the next general election.