The results are in from the local elections in Wemindji and Waswanipi.
As reported in our last issue, John Kitchen has been re-elected as Chief of Waswanipi in a narrow race.
Kitchen won 182 votes, or 39 per cent of the total, while three other candidates split the remaining 58 per cent. Three per cent of the 470 ballots cast were spoiled.
In second place was Paul Gull with 134 votes, or 29 per cent, followed by Allan Happyjack (109 votes) and Johnny Saganash (30 votes).
Elected to Council in Waswanipi were Alfred Jolly, with 106 votes, Clara Cooper (55 votes), Romeo Saganash (54), Paul Dixon (38), Diane Reid (38), Robert Kitchen (37) and Marlene I. Kitchen (36).
Alfred Jolly, with the most votes, replaces Romeo as Deputy Chief.
After initially agreeing to do an interview about his goals and priorities in the upcoming term, Chief Kitchen later changed his mind and declined to reveal his views in print.
Reports are circulating in Waswanipi of alleged electoral improprieties in the race for Chief and the possibility of a re-election. Under the Cree-Naskapi Act, residents can request that a local election be re-held under certain conditions.
Two years ago, residents of Wemindji met in an assembly to vote on whether or not to hold a re-election after allegations of improprieties.
This time in Wemindji, all parties agree the election was clean. A representative of the Cree-Naskapi Commission was on hand to observe on the invitation of the returning officer.
Walter Hughboy was re-elected as Chief with 218 votes, or 49 per cent of the total. Reggie Mark won I 19 votes and Clarence Tomatuk took home 112.
The new Council: Nancy Danyluk with 229 votes making her Deputy Chief; Billy Atsynia (227 votes), John Mark (219), Fred Asquabaneskum (206), Edward Georgekish (202) and Oliver Visitor (195).