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N.W.T. legislature members meet to choose new premier, cabinet

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YELLOWKNIFE -

Newly elected members of the Northwest Territories legislature are meeting today to choose their new premier and cabinet.

The territory doesn't have political parties.

Under its consensus-style government, MLAs run as independents and meet to choose a premier and members of cabinet from among themselves.

The premier then assigns the ministers their portfolios, and the remaining members function as the Opposition.

The territory's general election, originally set for October, was delayed to Nov. 14 because of wildfires.

During the wildfire season, about 70 per cent of the territory's population was under an evacuation order, including the 20,000 residents of the capital Yellowknife.

Premier Caroline Cochrane announced in September that she wasn't running for re-election.

The four legislature members vying for the job of premier are R.J. Simpson, Caroline Wawzonek, Shane Thompson and Kieron Testart.

All have been in government before and all except Testart have served in cabinet.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2023.

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