Canadian Sikh politician wins race to lead federal New Democrats

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Jagmeet Singh, an Ontario provincial lawmaker and working towards Sikh, was elected on Sunday as chief of Canada’s left-leaning New Democrats, turning into the primary non-white politician to move a serious Canadian political celebration.

The 38-year-old lawyer, whose penchant for colourful turbans and tailored three-piece fits made him a social media star, was elected on the primary poll to guide the New Democratic Celebration into the 2019 federal election in opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

“Thanks, New Democrats. The run for Prime Minister begins now,” Singh tweeted.

Singh secured 54 % of the vote, defeating three rivals to grow to be the brand new head of the NDP, succeeding Thomas Mulcair. The outcomes of the vote, carried out on-line and by mail, have been introduced at a celebration assembly in Toronto.

 
The Toronto-area politician, who led in fundraising since becoming a member of the race final Could, had been touted by supporters as somebody who might convey new life to the celebration, which has struggled for the reason that loss of life of charismatic former chief Jack Layton in 2011.

Singh’s profile was boosted in early September after a video went viral displaying him calmly responding with phrases of affection to a heckler who interrupted a marketing campaign occasion to accuse him of eager to impose Islamic Shariah regulation in Canada.

“His talent, in having the ability to diffuse the scenario, it understandably appealed to lots of people who ended up supporting him,” mentioned Christopher Cochrane, a professor of political science on the College of Toronto.

Cochrane added that Singh’s potential to attach each with younger individuals and ethnic minorities would make him a “power to reckon with” when competing in opposition to Trudeau in 2019.

Trudeau congratulated his new political rival on Twitter on Sunday, saying: “I look ahead to talking quickly and dealing collectively for Canadians.”

The NDP is the third largest celebration within the federal Parliament, with 44 of 338 seats. The celebration lags nicely behind the centrist Liberals and right-leaning Conservatives in political fundraising this yr, in line with Elections Canada knowledge.

Singh will now concentrate on rallying supporters and focusing on center-left voters who helped propel Trudeau’s Liberals to a decisive victory in 2015.

There are hurdles forward. Singh doesn’t have a seat within the federal parliament and must win one in a particular election. He additionally wants to influence voters that his celebration can kind a authorities, though it has by no means held energy federally.

There are additionally questions over whether or not he can have success in Quebec, Canada’s primarily French-speaking province, the place overt indicators of religion are frowned upon.

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