Phelps’ party in limbo

Yukoners won't know if they can vote for the United Citizens Party until the spring.

Yukoners won’t know if they can vote for the United Citizens Party until the spring.

That’s when the party will know if it has the right candidates to battle Premier Dennis Fentie and the opposition parties in a general territorial election, said its leader, Willard Phelps.

“We’ll be talking to people in the winter,” he said.

“And the plan is in the spring, we’ll know if we have people who will step forward.”

“It’s hard to get competitive people,” said Phelps. “The kind we’re looking for are of high calibre.”

“Without people of that nature, we won’t go ahead.”

Phelps, who severely injured his leg this summer and had to cancel the party’s first policy convention, is leaving for Arizona soon.

He and his wife have owned a home down there for eight years. It’s near outdoor hiking trails.

Phelps is still walking with a cane, and he needs to regain his health, he said.

“I need to do a lot of walking, swimming and hiking.”

They usually leave for four or five months, he said.

The United Citizens Party, which officially registered as a party on September 17, has earned a new competitor since it first came on the scene in November 2009.

The Green Party, which currently only has a federal candidate, is organizing a territorial party after its members voted in favour of the move, last month.

Fentie has until October 14, 2011 to call an election.

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