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Jagmeet Singh becomes first Sikh politician to lead Canada’s major New Democratic Party

The 38-year-old lawyer, Jagmeet Singh, made history on Sunday as he became the first person belonging to a visible minority group, and obviously the first of Indian and Sikh heritage, to be elected leader of one of Canada’s three largest national political parties.

It was a whopping win, and a landslide. As the first ballot results were announced at the Metropolitan Ballroom in the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto, Jagmeet Singh easily garnered votes, surpassing the 50% required to win the leadership of the New Democratic Party of Canada.

He will now captain the NDP in the next federal election to be held in October 2019.

In his acceptance speech, Singh described his win as “an incredibly profound honour”. He also announced the beginning of the 2019 race to lead Canada, as he said, “Canadians deserve a government that understands the struggles that people are facing right now.

Most importantly, Canadians deserve a government that gets the job done. That’s why today I’m officially launching my campaign to be the next prime minister of Canada.”

Cheers and applause broke out among NDP members who had gathered at the venue for the announcement of the result.

Four candidates were in the race for the leadership, but as the numbers for the first three were announced, it became obvious Singh had managed to gather well over the percentage needed to prevent another round of balloting, which was scheduled for October 8.

In the end, of the nearly 66,000 votes cast, Singh tallied more than 35,000, almost three times the total for the runner-up, Ontario MP Charlie Angus, who had 12,705 votes.

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