Sihota to head up B.C. NDP

British Columbia’s New Democrats have elected Moe Sihota, a former cabinet minister whose 15 years in politics were marked by several controversies, as president of the provincial Opposition party.

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s New Democrats have elected Moe Sihota, a former cabinet minister whose 15 years in politics were marked by several controversies, as president of the provincial Opposition party.

Sihota, who has been a TV journalist and radio pundit since leaving politics in 2001, was elected at a weekend NDP convention in Vancouver.

Sihota was first elected to the legislature as a New Democrat in 1986, and was seen as leader of a pack of NDP pit bulls relentlessly hammering the Social Credit government of Bill Vander Zalm.

After the NDP formed government in the 1990s, Sihota held the cabinet portfolios of education, environment and social development, but was either forced to resign or booted from cabinet three times in the span of a decade over various controversies.

He opted not to run again in 2001, when the NDP was decimated in an election that brought Gordon Campbell’s Liberals to power.

Dennis Pilon, a professor at the University of Victoria, said Sihota’s election as president isn’t likely to signal any major changes.

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