The coming months could bring some heightened emotions amid contested United Conservative Party nominations — but the party will strive to make sure it’s a fair process, leader Jason Kenney said Sunday.

At the party’s first Stampede barbecue, Kenney said the fact that hundreds of people are seeking nominations with the United Conservatives ahead of next year’s election is a positive reflection of interest in the party.

His comments follow allegations of ballot stuffing and improper handling of votes at the founding annual general meeting of the UCP’s Calgary-North East constituency association last weekend. The party said it suspended the meeting when potential irregularities came to light and that retired judge Ted Carruthers has been engaged to conduct an independent review.

The event in Calgary-North East came after a tumultuous contest for the UCP nomination in Chestermere-Strathmore, where MLA Leela Aheer was acclaimed after other potential candidates declined to enter the race. One potential candidate in that race, David Campbell, alleged misconduct and accused the party of bias in favour of Aheer.

“We’re very fortunate to have over 65 contested nominations,” Kenney said. “That’s a reflection of the support for and interest in the party, and I think that’s very positive. But inevitably when you have hotly contested nominations, here and there there’s going to be some friction, and we’re just trying to do everything we can as a party to make sure rules are fair and applied consistently.”

Kenney said the review of potential irregularities at the Calgary-North East meeting shows how seriously the party takes the allegations. He noted more than 3,000 party members voted as part of the Cardston-Siksika UCP nomination last month, without complaints of any problems.

“We can expect in the future, the next four or five months, that in the remaining 70 nominations, there will be some that …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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