WATCH ABOVE: The Alberta Liberal Party has a new interim leader as of Sunday and he certainly has experience.The party announced Calgary MLA Dr. David Swann is taking over – he’s held the leader’s job once before. As Gary Bobrovitz reports, Swann is stepping in just as the party prepares for a possible spring election.
CALGARY — On Sunday afternoon, the Alberta Liberal Party held a board of directors meeting in Calgary and announced that Dr. David Swann would be the new interim leader of the party.
This means the Alberta Liberals will go into a possible spring election with Swann as their interim leader, replacing former party leader Raj Sherman.
Early last week, Sherman said he was stepping down as leader effective immediately. Sherman added he would not be seeking re-election.
READ MORE: Raj Sherman won’t seek re-election
Dr. Swann won the leadership vote over Edmonton MLA Laurie Blakeman.
The Alberta Liberal Party is going back to the future with its new interim leader.
Dr. David Swann held the leader’s job once before – he was elected to the legislature in December 2008 and led the Liberal party until he resigned as leader in February 2010.
Swann says his first priority is to get the Liberals ready to campaign for the next election.
“People are looking for honest hard working smart government, they have not seen any evidence of that. Mr. Prentice has said he’s providing new management. Well im sorry we need new leadership in Alberta not better management,” Dr. Swann said.
Also Sunday, the party rejected a proposal from fellow Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman to discuss a possible merger with the Alberta Party.
After the next election, the Alberta Liberals say they may consider unifying left wing politicos, but not now.
Some political analysts say unifying the left of centre has potential.
“I think people are concerned that a strong opposition has been lost in Alberta and I think voters are going to looking for a strong opposition at the centre centre-left. The question is how to put together that strong opposition,” Lori Williams an MRU political analyst said.
In the past few months there’s been a wholesale change at the top in Alberta politics. Four of the five political parties now have new or interim leaders as Albertans head close into what is expected to be a spring provincial election.
Premier Prentice took over as leader of the PC party in September, a month later Edmonton MLA Rachel Notley began running the NDP party.
Calgary MLA Heather Forsyth is now in charge of the Wildrose after Danielle Smith crossed the floor.
The only holdover is Greg Clark of the Alberta party, he’s now the longest serving political party leader in the province, on the job for just 16 months..
The Alberta Liberal Party said a date to announce a permanent leader will be set in the fall.
Dr. David Swann was re-elected to his third term as MLA of Calgary-Mountain View in 2012, and most recently held the portfolio for Agriculture and Rural Development, Health, Human Services, Seniors, and Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour.
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