Hold territory-wide plebiscite on direct election of premier, Quassa recommends

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Nunavummiut should be able to decide whether the territory’s premier is chosen by direct election, Aggu MLA Paul Quassa said Thursday.

“The direct election of a premier may be the best way to allow Nunavummiut to choose a leader who brings a clear mandate to the office,” says Aggu MLA Paul Quassa.
photo courtesy of the Government of Nunavut

Quassa called on his legislative colleagues to endorse a Nunavut-wide plebiscite on the issue in conjunction with the next territorial election.

“I do not see organized political parties contesting our territorial elections any time in the near future. Consequently the direct election of a premier may be the best way to allow Nunavummiut to choose a leader who brings a clear mandate to the office,” said Quassa, who was named premier by his peers at the beginning of the fifth assembly but removed by them seven months later with no public explanation.

He added that there would be many related questions to answer if direct election of the premier is adopted, including whether the premier chooses his or her own cabinet.

Quassa spoke on the topic during his member’s statement. There was no further discussion of his suggestions.

“I am sure that today will not be the end of this conversation,” Quassa said. “When we
reconvene in the house for our fall sitting, I hope to bring forward a motion that will set
us on the path to asking our constituents for their thoughts on this important issue.
Mr. Speaker, I want to conclude by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to leave
you and all of our colleagues with some thoughts to consider over the summer months.”

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