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Alberta Liberals to hold leadership race in the new year

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann makes a policy announcement in Calgary, Alta., Monday, April 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Alberta Liberal Party announced details of its leadership race Tuesday, which will officially launch in the new year.

The race to replace interim leader David Swann will formally begin on Jan. 15, 2016.

“For almost two years Dr. David Swann has served diligently as our interim leader but now it is time to pass the torch,” Karen Sevcik, president of the Alberta Liberal Party, said in a statement on the party’s website.

“This leadership race comes during a time of great opportunity for our party. Many Albertans have already grown disillusioned with this NDP government and are looking for a party of balance and principle. A party that understands the proper role of government. An Alberta Liberal government will understand the importance of putting people first.”

READ MORE: Alberta Liberals stay with David Swann; to pick new leader in 2017

A nomination period will be held from Jan. 16 to March 31, with debates held in Calgary on April 8 and in Edmonton on May 6.

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Voting will take place online from May 27 to June 3. The new leader of the party will be announced in Calgary on Sunday, June 4.

Those who wish to run for the party leadership can begin the application process immediately, the Liberals said in a media release Tuesday morning.

“I encourage you to get involved in the leadership race, volunteer for a candidate, and be ready to vote for our new leader,” Sevcik said.

The announcement comes as the Alberta PC Party is in the midst of a leadership race of its own.

After Sandra Jansen and Donna Kennedy-Glans dropped out of the race, there are now four people vying for leadership of the PCs – former Conservative MP Jason Kenney, PC MLA Richard Starke, former PC MLA Stephen Khan and Calgary lawyer Byron Nelson.

READ MORE: Investigation into PC Alberta harassment finds ‘no direct evidence’ that campaigns were targeted

The party will vote for a new leader on March 18 in Calgary.

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