Jagmeet Singh Elected as Leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party
Sikh politician Jagmeet Singh has been elected as the head of the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP), becoming the first non-white person to lead a major political party in Canada.
Singh, 38, was elected with 53.6 per cent votes on the first ballot. He will now lead the NDP in the 2019 federal election against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Front. Singh’s election is expected to bring a new life to NDP, which has been struggling since the death of the its most influential former leader Jack Layton in 2011.
In the leadership contest, a total of 65,782 votes were cast. NDP members filed ranked ballots between Sept. 18 and Oct. 1. Ontario MP Charlie Agnus bagged the second spot in the election with 19.3 per cent vote share.
“Thank you, New Democrats. The run for prime minister begins now,” Singh tweeted later.
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) October 1, 2017
“I don’t have the words to capture this journey and how this feels right now. It’s an incredibly profound honor. Thank you,” Singh told NDP members after the election.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also congratulated his new opponent.
“I look forward to speaking soon and working together for Canadians,” Trudeau posted on his Twitter.
Congratulations @theJagmeetSingh – I look forward to speaking soon and working together for Canadians.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 1, 2017
United Against Hate
Singh is a lawyer by profession, and he ran for NDP’s top spot with the slogan, “With Love and Courage.” Singh’s profile was boosted to new heights when he calmly responded with words of love to a heckler who interrupted his campaign and called him a sponsor of Sharia law in Canada.
“It’s important that we stand united against all forms of hate,” said Singh after the incident.
“We are the party that is building a better Canada. And it is in us that you can see the future of our country [and] how great our country will be with a New Democratic government,” he said on Oct. 1, Al Jazeera reported.