MNS Announces Plans For October Election
Tuesday, March 07, 2006 at 14:52
Officials with the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan say they are hoping to hold a new election on October 21st.
The announcement follows a meeting of the Provincial Métis Council yesterday in Saskatoon.
It’s the latest move by an organization that’s been in turmoil ever since a controversial election in 2004.
Under normal MNS election guidelines, the next vote isn’t supposed to take place until 2008.
Disputed MNS president Dwayne Roth says members of the council have recommended a new election be held this year, but the election date must be ratified by a Métis Nation Legislative Assembly.
The MNS has been calling for the provincial government to help fund the election and the MNLA, but refuses to agree to the province’s condition that the election be independently-run.
On at least two previous occasions, the MNS announced its intent to hold an MNLA, but backed off when it couldn’t secure government funding.
In fact, all provincial and federal funding to the group has been frozen for nearly 18 months.
Despite the stalemate, Roth still believes there’s room for compromise. For example, he says the MNS might be willing to allow the province to set up an advisory committee to observe the election, but the vote itself would have to be run by the MNS. As well, the MNS would have to have the final say on voters’ lists and membership lists.
The provincial government has stated repeatedly that it won’t fund a new election unless it’s satisfied it will be run in a democratic manner.
A government-appointed investigator concluded in 2004 that the results of the MNS election earlier that year couldn’t be trusted.
Nine people have been implicated in an alleged vote-rigging scheme related to that election. One of them has pleaded guilty to forgery and will be sentenced later this month.