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UCP leadership race gears up after Alberta's Kenney announces resignation

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 19 May, 2022 10:23 AM
  • UCP leadership race gears up after Alberta's Kenney announces resignation

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is to meet with his United Conservative caucus in Calgary today to determine next steps after he announced he is stepping down as leader. 

Kenney said yesterday it was time to leave after he received 51 per cent support in a party leadership review. 

Kenney did not provide specifics and there are conflicting reports on whether he will step aside as premier immediately or stay until a new leader is chosen. 

Some reports say Kenney has not ruled out running in the upcoming race. 

Kenney’s main critic in caucus, Brian Jean, told reporters heading into the meeting that Kenney needs to leave immediately and an interim premier must be chosen. 

Jean says that needs to happen so the party can heal divisions and move forward. 

Jean is one of two former leaders of the Wildrose Party, which merged with the Progressive Conservatives to form the UCP in 2017, to signal leadership intentions. He lost to Kenney in the inaugural UCP leadership race. 

Danielle Smith, a radio host following her stint in provincial politics, has said the leadership results show the UCP is hungry for a leader who will fight for Alberta's interests. She was scheduled to speak to reporters Thursday. 

Kenney's resignation reverberated in Ottawa, where he previously served as a cabinet minister in former prime minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government. 

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