Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in has postponed its election for chief after all three candidates willingly withdrew their names from the race.
In a press release March 31, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in election committee said that incumbent Roberta Joseph, Majida Lord, and James Roberts agreed to withdraw their nominations for the upcoming election which was scheduled for April 16, so that a by-election can be held at a later date.
The candidates, according to the press release, provided the chief returning officer with a joint letter stating that they “recognize the need for our government and citizens to focus on our collective well-being and the safety of our community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we agree that the election process for the Chief must be postponed until the public health emergency is lifted. This will ensure that the election process can be conducted safely and allow all citizens to participate in the election process without any concerns.”
The election committee, under the First Nation’s election act, will now be required to hold a second nomination day on April 6 as there are no candidates left. Joseph, Lord and Roberts have agreed not to submit new nomination forms, the press release says, and are requesting other citizens to not submit any either to allow for a by-election to be called in the future.
The position for chief was the only one open in the election. Candidates were acclaimed to the three available councillor positions and the one position for deputy chief.
The press release says that the councillors and deputy chief will assume office, with the deputy chief acting until the by-election for chief can be held.
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