Jagmeet Singh Elected As Canada’s New Democrats Leader


Sikh politician Jagmeet Singh has been picked by Canada’s federal New Democrat party to lead their party into the next general election.

The 38-year-old will be the first ethnic minority to lead a major federal party in the country.

In the left-wing party’s leadership race, Mr Singh won a decisive first-ballot victory over three other candidates.

“Thank you, New Democrats. The run for prime minister begins now,” he tweeted.

He now has the difficult task of rebuilding the party that lost 59 seats in the 2015 election.

Mr Singh finished well ahead of his rivals with 53.6% of the vote in Sunday’s leadership contest.

Mr Singh called the win an “incredibly profound honour” and said, “this race has renewed excitement in our party.”

A video which recently emerged in which Mr Singh responded to a heckler during a campaign rally also boosted his profile amongst the public in the lead up to the election.

Christopher Cochrane, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said: “His skill, in being able to defuse the situation, it understandably appealed to a lot of people who ended up supporting him.”

The New Democratic Party, which has never held power, is currently the third place party in Canada’s Parliament, with 44 of 338 seats.

The left-of-centre party made historic gains in the 2011 general election and was catapulted into Official Opposition, only to lose almost a million votes – mostly to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals – four years later in the 2015 election.

Prime Minister Trudeau congratulated his new political rival on Twitter saying: “I look forward to speaking soon and working together for Canadians.”

On Sunday, Mr Singh he would focus on issues of climate change, reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and electoral reform.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here