Gene Zwozdesky picked by peers to be new Speaker of Alberta legislature

Former cabinet minister Gene Zwozdesky (zwahz-DESS’-kee) is the new Speaker of the Alberta legislature. The 63-year-old Progressive Conservative backbencher won a majority of votes in a secret-ballot vote of all MLAs.

EDMONTON — Former cabinet minister Gene Zwozdesky (zwahz-DESS’-kee) is the new Speaker of the Alberta legislature.

The 63-year-old Progressive Conservative backbencher won a majority of votes in a secret-ballot vote of all MLAs.

Opposition Liberal house leader Laurie Blakeman was the only other candidate running.

Zwozdesky replaces Ken Kowalski, who recently retired and didn’t run in the last election.

Kowalski had been in the job for 15 years.

The Speaker runs the debate in the legislature and makes sure all rules and precedents are followed.

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