Former housing minister David Eby will be sworn in as the new B.C. NDP leader tomorrow, after the only other candidate vying for the job was disqualified on Wednesday.
The party’s chief electoral officer Elizabeth Cull recommended to the party executive council that candidate Anjali Appadurai be disqualified over claims she violated campaign rules.
Cull alleges that Appadurai “engaged in serious improper conduct” by working with third parties for membership drives on her behalf.
She also concluded that one of those third parties was encouraging members of other political parties to join the B.C. NDP so they could have a vote.
The party’s executive council voted to go forward with the disqualification, leaving Eby as the lone candidate for the job.
Premier John Horgan said claims that the party was purposefully trying to push Eby through and that the executive council is an old boys club are completely unfounded.
“It’s an executive that’s led by an indigenous man, a lawyer, and former chief Aaron Sumexheltza,” he said.
“Eighty percent of the executive are women, and almost 50 percent are people of colour. This is not about back rooms from the 1960s.”
He added that the decision was made in the best interest of British Columbians.
“I’m proud of the work they did and I’m proud David Eby will be the next premier of British Columbia.”
The names of the people that make up the executive have not been published.
When asked why that is, an upset Horgan gave one last answer before storming out of today’s press conference.
“Because they are being inundated by Green Party members saying we want to take over your party. Leave them alone. They’re doing their job. They’re going to be abused by a bunch of people that cheated and wanted to get away with it.”
Horgan announced he was stepping down as premier earlier this year and a new leader would be chosen.
Eby will be named leader on Friday but won’t become the premier until a later date.
Horgan previously said he would be leaving in December, but Cull said she may adjust the election date since there is now only one candidate.
– with files from Josiah Spiker, My East Kootenay Now staff