Jagmeet Singh becomes first Sikh to lead major Canadian party
Toronto, Oct 2 (IANS) Jagmeet Singh, a 38-year-old Indian-origin Sikh lawyer who rose to prominence as an upbeat opponent of police carding, was elected to lead Canada’s New Democrats Party (NDP) into the next federal election, the media reported.
Singh scored a solid victory in the first round of voting for a new NDP leader, with 53.6 per cent of voters placing him at the top of their ranked ballot in results that were unveiled here on Sunday, reports The Toronto Star.
He will now take over from outgoing leader Thomas Mulcair, who headed a caucus of 44 members on Parliament Hill.
Singh is the first visible minority to lead a major federal party in Canada.
“Today is testament to an incredible team and thousands of volunteers and supporters who believed in us across the country,” Singh said from the stage at the Westin Harbour Castle, where the results were revealed.
“Canadians must stand united to champion the politics of courage over the politics of fear, the politics of love to fight the growing politics of division… This is not my victory, this is all of your victory.”
“Canadians deserve the kind of government that only New Democrats can deliver that gets the job done, that keeps its promises. That’s why today I’m officially launching my campaign to be the next prime minister of Canada,” Singh said.
Singh’s opponents in the race were MPs Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Guy Caron, The Toronto Star reported.
Out of more than 65,000 votes, Angus got 12,505, Ashton received 11,376 and Caron got 6,164.
Singh, who signed up 47,000 members in the race, received more than 35,000 votes in the first round, giving him a solid victory.