Premier election remains behind closed doors

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The premier selection process will be left largely untouched as MLAs hear candidates’ pitches this Friday, a Wednesday Government of Northwest Territories news release said.

Premier hopefuls will deliver up to 10 minute speeches starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, aiming to woo their colleagues ahead of a secret ballot vote next Thursday. A new change will also have them field up to two questions from each respective member after their address this week.

So far announced hopefuls include former education minister Caroline Cochrane of Range Lake, former speaker Jackson Lafferty of Monfwi, R.J. Simpson of Hay River North, and Chief of the Salt River First Nation Frieda Martselos of Thebacha.

After the new speaker is chosen next Thursday, MLAs ca then ask one additional question of the prospective premiers, followed by the secret ballot.

Cabinet will then be selected, with two MLAs from northern constituencies, two from the Yellowknife area, and two from southern constituencies. MLAs jockeying for a cabinet seat will have 10 minutes to plead their case, followed by a maximum of one question from their colleagues.

The swearing in of all the positions will be next Friday.

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