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New Wekweeti chief elected
Two byelections to follow as results finalized for four Tlicho communities

April Hudson
Northern News Services
Monday, June 19, 2017

One new and three incumbent chiefs have been elected in the Tlicho region after votes in the region's four communities.

Whati, Wekweeki, Gameti and Behchoko all went to the polls on June 12 to elect chiefs and councillors.

Gameti had a voter turnout of 98.3 per cent of all elgible voters, say officials.

Wekweeki elected a new chief, Charlie Football, with 46 votes, while 17 votes were cast in favour of Johnny Arrowmaker. Elected to council are Joseph Dryneck, Travis Washie, Patrick Tom and Gordon Judas.

In Behchoko, incumbent Chief Clifford Daniels was re-elected with 416 votes, ahead of four challengers. The closest runner-up was Leon Lafferty wtih 380 votes.

Behchoko's new council includes George Mackenzie, Jimmy Rabesca, Nora Wedzin, Mabel Husky, Cody Steven Mantla, Rosa Mantla, Regina Lafferty, Giselle Marion and Gail Whane. The 10th councillor position will be decided by a by-election after Jane Weyallon and Amy Zoe received tie votes.

In Gameti, incumbent Chief David Wedawin came in ahead of challenger Doreen Arrowmaker.

Five of six councillors were also elected in Gameti, including Frank Arrowmaker, Gary Bekale, Henry Gon, Peter John Apples and Germain Eyakfwo. Jimmy Mantla and Gary Zoe tied for the sixth spot.

Whati saw incumbent Chief Alfonz Nitsiza re-elected with 124 votes, followed closely by Isidore Zoe with 122 votes.

Whati elected eight councillors: Rasinda Beaverho, Leo Nitsiza, Edzo Nitsiza, George Nitsiza, Alex Nitsiza, Michael Moosenose, Joseph Moosenose and Mike Nitsiza.

Automatic recounts were triggered in all four communities for the election of councillors, due to close or tie votes.

Bob Brooks, chief municipal electoral officer for the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, stated in an e-mail byelections will need to be held for Gameti and Behchoko, each of which had a tie vote for councillors.

Brooks stated the Tlicho Community Government Act requires a byelection to be held within 14 days in the event of a tie.

That act overrules the Local Authorities Elections Act, which allows for either a run-off byelection or a name-draw to break the tie.

Brooks also congratulated Gameti for its high voter turnout.

Voter turnout was highest in Gameti, with 98.3 per cent of the community's 180 eligible voters casting votes for chief, and 96.3 per cent voting for council.

Whati saw 82.6 per cent turnout for chief and 86.3 per cent turnout for council.

Wekweeti's turnout was 78.75 per cent for chief and 78 per cent for council.

Behchoko, which didn't specify a difference between chief and council turnout in its results, saw a voter turnout of 74 per cent.

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