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Nenshi fills 2 prominent roles in Alberta NDP caucus

Click to play video: 'New NDP leader Naheed Nenshi makes caucus leadership changes'
New NDP leader Naheed Nenshi makes caucus leadership changes
WATCH: Newly elected Alberta NDP leader Naheed Nenshi is putting his own stamp on the party, naming two party veterans to key leadership positions. Nenshi says he plans to have plenty of discussions this summer as the party charts a new direction. Erik Bay has more – Jun 24, 2024

The Alberta NDP’s new leader, Naheed Nenshi, announced Monday two changes to the caucus he will lead.

Christina Gray was named official Opposition leader while Nenshi is still without a seat in the legislature.

Rakhi Pancholi will take over as deputy leader.

“We’ve made this leadership announcement,” Nenshi said Monday. “We’re not making any other changes in the house leadership or the critic roles at this time.”

Click to play video: 'Nenshi aims to transform Alberta NDP, faces challenge in divided Calgary'
Nenshi aims to transform Alberta NDP, faces challenge in divided Calgary

Nenshi was elected the new leader of the Alberta NDP in a landslide, earning over 62,000 of the nearly 73,000 party member votes case on Saturday.

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The former Calgary mayor is taking the reins from Rachel Notley, who stepped down as leader.

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Now, Nenshi says his focus will be on the NDP’s future at its upcoming caucus retreat and speaking with Albertans.

“I’m not sure if it’ll be a new direction,” political analyst John Brennan said. “I think Naheed Nenshi is going to follow in the path that was carved out by Rachel Notley over the last 10 years.

“He’s very much going to project a pragmatic, moderate, centrist vision for the NDP.”

Click to play video: 'Naheed Nenshi speaks about new role as leader of Alberta’s NDP'
Naheed Nenshi speaks about new role as leader of Alberta’s NDP

Brennan thinks Nenshi will be able to unite the party and its members. However, beating Danielle Smith and the UCP is another story.

“It’s going to be very difficult for the NDP to win seats in rural, small-town Alberta,” he said. “He has to grow the vote… and he has to do it in specific locations.”

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Brennan thinks Nenshi and the NDP should try to win votes in urban, medium-sized cities outside Edmonton and Calgary — seats in places like Red Deer, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie.

Under Nenshi, the Alberta NDP will also have to decide whether it will cut ties with the federal NDP.

“We’ll have an opportunity to surface a very clear choice for members to make,” Nenshi said. “We’ll be starting that relatively quickly.”

Click to play video: 'Political analyst delves into the victory of Alberta NDP leader Naheed Nenshi'
Political analyst delves into the victory of Alberta NDP leader Naheed Nenshi

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