Technical glitches and long lines delay Manitoba Liberal leadership convention

Timm Bruch / Global News

On an afternoon where the focus was supposed to be on the new leader of the Manitoba Liberals, massive delays have instead stolen the spotlight.

Technical glitches to the software system used to register party members, and the large number of people waiting to have their say, pushed back Saturday’s convention by at least two hours.

READ MORE: Manitoba Liberals to hold party leadership contest this year

A spokesperson for the event says voting is slated to begin at 2 p.m., finish at 4:30 p.m, and first ballot results are expected around 5:30 p.m.

He also said the numbers are tentative and could change, but that the process may be sped up to reflect the situation.

The convention was scheduled to start at 12 p.m. and the first ballot votes were slated to come in at 4 p.m.

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At 1:30 p.m., lines at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg stretched down the centre’s hallways and past doors.

Manitoba Liberal president Paul Brault said Saturday that the party was expecting 900 people to register to vote, but that the response was “way beyond” and “overwhelming.”

READ MORE: Manitoba Liberals to remain leaderless until October convention

The convention is set to choose a new provincial party leader from three candidates: Burrows MLA Cindy Lamoureux, one-time leader and current River Heights MLA Jon Gerrard, and university teacher Dougald Lamont.

The Liberals, who currently only have three seats in the Manitoba Legislature, do not have official party status.

They have been without a permanent leader since Rana Bokhari resigned last year.