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Election results appealed
New Deh Gah Got'ie Koe chief and council can't take their positions until review is finished

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, September 22, 2011

An appeal of the results of the recent Deh Gah Got'ie First Nation election has left the band temporarily without a chief and council.

Loretta Landry launched the appeal of the Sept. 15 election in Fort Providence. Landry claims when she went to vote the election officer told her she had to choose seven people for the positions of band councillor.

Landry decided to only choose the candidates for council that she wanted to vote for, a number fewer than seven. Later, after the polls were closed, Landry helped count the ballots.

Her ballot was deemed spoiled because she checked off fewer than seven councillor candidates. There were approximately 31 other ballots that were categorize as spoiled for the same reason, she said.

Landry said her main concern is that voters weren't given proper instructions. The band's election regulations state that members are to put a mark opposite the "name of the candidate or candidates for who they desire to vote for."

The election was for the position of chief and seven councillors. Three people were running for chief while 14 people were seeking the two-year term council seats.

A three-person appeal committee will be established to review the election process, said Maggie Levavasseur, the acting band manager for Deh Gah Got'ie First Nation.

When contacted on Sept. 20, Levavasseur said she wasn't sure when the committee would finish its review. A third person still needs to be identified to serve on the committee. Until the review is finished, the elected chief and council can't take their positions, she said. Based on the results of the election, Wayne Sabourin was elected as chief with 132 votes, 30 more than incumbent Joachim Bonnetrouge who had 102 votes. Greg Nyuli garnered 56 votes.

All five of the incumbent band councillors who ran were re-elected and received the highest number of votes. The elected councillors and their votes include Michael Vandell, 157; James Thom, 155; Joe Lacorne, 148; Theresa Bonnetrouge, 146; and Edward Landry 135. The two new councillors are Bernadette Landry, 133; and Victor J Constant, 128.

A total of 290 members voted in the election out of a possible approximately 520.

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