NTI elections approach
NTI chief elections officer says election preparations are picking up steam

Maria Canton
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Oct 18/99) - Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated's chief elections officer says that although they have yet to receive any nominations, preparations for the December election are starting to take shape.

"We've established returning officers for the four districts and deputy returning officers for each community," said John Ningark.

"The call for nominations is open and we're ready to receive them."

Nominations opened Oct. 4 for the positions of president and second vice-president, which are currently filled by Jose Kusugak and Raymond Ningeocheak respectively.

Ningark says the traditional enumeration process that is common to elections won't be necessary for the NTI election because each community has an up-to-date beneficiary enrolment list.

Four regional offices are maintained by a regional returning officer who is responsible for each region, the appointment of deputy returning officers and to ensure that proper election conduct is followed according to NTI rules and procedures.

The returning officers are Hillary Makpah in Chesterfield Inlet, Mika Pudlat in Iqaluit, Martha Maktar in Pond Inlet and Helen Tologanak in Cambridge Bay. Each officer will maintain an office from now until the end of the elections in December.

Kusugak and Ningeocheak were elected in March 1996 and their positions were scheduled to be up in March of this year.

But because that would have been before April 1, NTI granted a nine-month extension to each of the two terms.

"Both positions are four-year terms," said Ningark.

"The first vice-president and secretary treasurer weren't elected until 1998."

NTI has plans to eliminate the first vice-president position and a streamlined three-member executive committee, including the secretary treasurer, will take over.

The president's portfolio consists of maintaining Nunavut's political development, self-government, Inuit circumpolar conferences and Inuit Tapirisat of Canada.

It also includes policy development, administration and implementation, business development, legal issues and communications.

Ningark says he would like to have the elections broadcast live on television, but the final details have yet to be worked out.

Nominations close on Nov. 1 and the election is Dec. 13.