New Brunswick opposition parties spent the weekend speculating on the possibility of premature elections after Prime Minister Brian Gallant announced he will meet with the lieutenant governor on Monday morning.
Mr. Gallant made the announcement on Friday. His spokesperson, Tina Robichaud, added that the Liberal government was mandated to focus on the priorities of New Brunswickers three years ago and that it had “fulfilled this mandate”.
However, Ms. Robichaud downplayed the possibility of elections on Sunday.
In an email, she said Gallant would discuss the next throne speech with the lieutenant governor “as he did last year.”
The next provincial election is scheduled for September 24, 2018. The leader of the New Brunswick Citizens’ Alliance, Kris Austin, believes the government would ignore the spirit of the fixed election law if it called the voters at the polls earlier.
Austin accused the government of fueling election rumors.
“These are just political tactics, a smokescreen, and I think these people forget that the public is much more informed today and is watching what’s going on,” he said. declared.
Mr. Austin’s party, which has no seat in the legislature, has called an emergency meeting on Saturday and will be ready at any time from the field, his leader assured.
“It’s laughable for the Prime Minister to brag about his success,” Austin said. Our deficit is still there, we have more taxes than ever before, so what mandate is it talking about? ”
Opposition Progressive Conservatives also held meetings and teleconferences to prepare.
“We will see Monday what we are talking about, but we need to proceed over the weekend with the idea that elections will be called,” Chief Blaine Higgs said in a statement.
Political science professor Don Desserud suggests that the prime minister may simply want to stage a throne speech he sees as important.
It is not uncommon for ruling parties to let the possibility of elections so that opposition parties play their cards early in the process, said the University of Prince Edward Island professor.
“We want to see what the other parties have in store for us in an election campaign, what kind of platforms will they present, or even who will be the predominant candidates,” he said.
“Then we deliberately convince them that there will be elections so that they act a little too early.”
The ruling Liberals hold 26 of the 49 seats in the Legislative Assembly. The Progressive Conservatives have 22, and the Green Party, 1.