Maritime NDP calls for leadership vote
Oct 26, 2013 / 10:11 am
The head of Newfoundland and Labrador's New Democratic Party is calling for a leadership review next year after a messy week of caucus infighting.
All five members of the third-party caucus gathered Saturday for mediated talks after leadership tensions erupted in public.
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael now says she'll ask the party executive to include a leadership review vote at the party's convention next year.
"We had a full and frank discussion, and I am ready to move forward with the work I have to do," she said in a statement Saturday.
"I want to be absolutely clear about my mandate going into the next provincial election, and the best way to do that is to put the question to the membership at (the) convention."
The next provincial vote is slated for 2015.
The NDP won five seats in the 2011 election and had hoped to build on gains in the polls to challenge the Opposition Liberals and ruling Progressive Conservatives.
Michael was to meet with reporters to offer more comment later Saturday in St. John's, N.L.
No other members were expected to join Michael, but her spokeswoman said there were no caucus resignations.
What Michael has called an "unfortunate event" began when she returned from vacation last Sunday to find an emailed letter signed by all four of her members.
It asked for a leadership convention next year to renew the party, a move that would require Michael to resign.
The letter was leaked to the media and Michael went public, saying she felt blindsided and betrayed.
Two of her caucus members, Gerry Rogers and George Murphy, have since expressed regret about how the matter was handled. The other two, Dale Kirby and Chris Mitchelmore, have stuck by their call for a fresh contest at the top.
Murphy at one point accused Kirby of intimidation to pressure him into signing the letter. Kirby denied any such tactics, and said each caucus member knew what was intended before adding their signature.
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