OTTAWA — Liberal brass have approved rules which would prevent Bob Rae and Ralph Goodale from becoming interim leader of the decimated party.
The party’s national board has issued a final statement outlining a plan to defer a vote for permanent leader for up to two years and laying down conditions for choosing an acting leader in the interim.
The final plan, obtained by The Canadian Press, is not much different than a draft plan leaked Monday, which seemed designed to ensure Toronto MP Rae would not be chosen interim leader.
But the final plan now stipulates that the interim leader must be bilingual, whereas the draft had suggested a unilingual leader would be acceptable provided that a “native francophone” deputy was appointed.
The final version would seem to rule out Goodale, a veteran Saskatchewan MP who speaks little French.
The board also now says that Liberal senators, who were excluded in the draft plan, will be given a partial say in choosing the interim leader, although their views will carry less weight than elected MPs.
The board is continuing to insist that the interim leader must vow, in writing, not to seek the permanent leadership or pursue any discussions about merging the Liberal party with the NDP.