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New Brunswick NDP cancels leadership convention after candidate fails vetting process

Spokesperson says search for qualified candidates will continue

The New Brunswick New Democratic Party remains optimistic it will recruit a number of qualified candidates in order to hold a leadership convention.

On Wednesday, party president Cyprien Okana announced the leadership convention planned for August was being delayed indefinitely.

The lone candidate that put their name forward to become party leader failed to pass the vetting process. Party spokesperson Nathan Davis said there were others who had requested information packages but only one paid the fee to continue.

“When he wasn’t able to complete that second stage we had to reorganize a little bit and we’ve resumed our search for the next leader of the party.”

A convention was set for August after party members voted to hold a leadership convention following a dismal showing in last fall’s provincial election. Former leader Jennifer McKenzie resigned a day later.

Davis said the party has no plans to change anything about the vetting process, adding they’re encouraging anyone who may have an interest to contact them.

“We’re hoping to have at least three or four qualified people that are able to take on the challenges that face our party.”

Davis said if that were to happen and all passed the vetting process, then the party would set a date for a leadership convention.

“We want to make sure each interested person has enough time to get all the necessary paperwork in order, make sure they have all the signatures that are necessary and that all the other steps are followed,” he said.

Davis said this will ensure the candidates can take their time to make an informed decision and commit to the whole process.

In an email to party members, Okana said the party is rebuilding its infrastructure and committees in preparation for the next election cycle.

“We are focusing our efforts in re-engaging our members and external stakeholders for their ideas on how we can work together for all New Brunswickers,” Okana said.

Original article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nb-ndp-cancel-leadership-convention-1.5232220