NEWS

Nunavut MLAs choose a premier and cabinet today

11/15/2013 09:44 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:56 EST
Newly-elected Nunavut MLAs are in Iqaluit today to choose a premier, cabinet members and a Speaker.

The territory operates under consensus-style government, where there are no political parties in the legislative assembly. MLAs select the premier, cabinet and Speaker from among themselves through a leadership forum.

Amittuq MLA George Quluat was acclaimed Speaker, after being nominated by Netsilik MLA Jeannie Ugyuk.

Kugluktuk MLA Peter Taptuna, Iqaluit-Sinaa MLA Paul Okalik and Aggu MLA Paul Quassa have been nominated for premier. The candidates have 20 minutes each to make remarks.  Then each MLA will be able to ask them two questions, before a secret ballot is held.

After the selection of the premier, members will choose cabinet ministers. The new cabinet will consist of eight ministers plus the premier, an increase of one minister from the last assembly. The number of MLAs in this legislative assembly increased to 22 from 19. The premier assigns portfolios to the ministers.

Meanwhile, CBC has learned that Uqqummiut MLA-elect Samuel Nuqingaq has not shown up for two days of orientation.  He is also not at the Leadership Forum this morning.  Legislative officials are not commenting on whether there will be sanctions.

The leadership forum is being broadcast live in Nunavut on the assembly's cable TV channel. CBC's Jane Sponagle is tweeting from the Nunavut legislative assembly.

MORE:cbcNews