Democracy is alive and well in Nunavik, where several hotly contested mayoral races helped push voter turnout in the round of municipal elections in 13 of Nunavik’s 14 communities on Nov. 4. Many multi-candidate races resulted in several new community leaders being elected with far less than 50% of the popular vote in hard-fought showdowns.

The closest result was in Kangirsuk, where Tommy Nassak eked out a one-vote victory over Elijah Grey 48-47, with another candidate (David Pinguapik) drawing 41 votes in a five-person field. The result sees Nassak becoming mayor with only 24.7% of the popular vote.

Down the coast in Kuujjuaq, Paul Parsons won a hot three-way mayoral contest with 287 votes (40.7%), against 212 for Betsy Berthe and 208 for Johnny Gordon Sr. To the east in Kangiqsualujjuaq, meanwhile, Kitty Annanack was elected mayor with 97 out of 259 votes, or 37.4% in a five-person race.

In Akulivik over on the Hudson Bay coast, Markusi Anautak beat four candidates for mayor with 71 votes, or 36.7% of the vote. Likewise, up north in Salluit, Qalingo Angutigirk also won the mayoral race with just 36.7% of the ballots, though he far outdistanced runner-up Johnny Papigatok 184 to 117 in another five-candidate race.

At the other extreme, two mayors – Peter Angnatuk in Tasiujaq and Mary A. Pilurtuut in Kangiqsujuaq – faced no opposition and were elected by acclamation. The community of Aupaluk didn’t even have a candidate for mayor for the Nov. 4 vote, necessitating a special election on Nov. 13, which is finally being contested by three candidates, Johnny Oovaut, David Mala Lucassie and Johnny Akpahatak. The result will be published in the next issue.

There were big victories in some contests. For instance, Inukjuak winner Sarollie Weetaluktuk took 369 votes, or 67.9%, in a two-person contest against Simeonie Nalukturuk, who received 174 votes. In Kuujjuarapik, Raymond Mickpegak left two challengers far behind with 151 votes out of a total of 233 valid ballots (64.8%).

In other head-to-head mayoral races, Charlie Paningajak beat Annie Kristensen 71-41 in Ivujivik; Bobby Putulik defeated Eva Tukkiapik 65-44 in Quaqtaq; and Aisara Kenuajuak outlasted Noah Adamie Qumaaluk 294-234 in Puvirnituq.

Finally, with 73 ballots, Davidee Sappa won just under 50% of the votes in a three-person race in Umiujaq, where Louisa Tookalook finished second with 45 and Robbie Tookalook took 33.

For complete results, including those elected to municipal councils, see