The recent Tsawwassen First Nation election is being contested.
TFN chief administrative officer Doug Raines confirmed two appeals were filed regarding the Sept. 5 election, however, the identities of those who filed and the grounds for appeal are protected by confidentiality.
He told the Optimist this week it also can't be revealed who in the newly elected government is the target, other than the appeals are based on "technical issues" leading up to the election.
Bryce Williams, a 23year-old carver, defeated longtime incumbent Kim Baird in the election for chief. The vote was 78 to 69 in favour of Williams, who was first elected to the TFN's government in 2009 and had served on the executive council.
The defeat of Baird, who was acclaimed in the last election and had been chief since 1999, was a surprise to many outside the TFN.
Baird told the Vancouver Sun this week she personally didn't file an appeal, but declined to comment further.
September's election also saw several newcomers selected to the 12-person legislature.
Under the TFN Elections Act, any member can file an appeal within one month of the election, which was done last month. The elected legislators in question have to formally respond, which was also done.
An appeal could be filed on the grounds an offence was committed that might have affected the outcome of the election or a candidate was ineligible to be elected.
The TFN Judicial Council, the First Nation's equivalent to a supreme court, will deal with the matter.
The TFN's Elections Act states the Judicial Council may dismiss the appeal, disqualify the chief or one or more legislators from office, as well as order a by-election for the office of chief or for some or all of the offices of legislator.
Under the TFN's Constitution Act, final orders of the Judicial Council will be enforced by the provincial or supreme courts of B.C. as if they were orders of either of those courts. Some final orders of the Judicial Council may be appealed to the B.C. Supreme Court. Where there is no right of appeal to the B.C. Supreme Court, the order or decision of the Judicial Council is final.
Raines said this will be the first-ever matter the Judicial Council will deal with since it was formed a couple of years ago.
The council can hear appeals by members and make rulings on a number of the TFN's acts.
It can also hear appeals by non-members, who aren't eligible to vote in the election, living at the First Nation. However, the council can only hear appeals from non-members under a certain number of provisions under only some of the acts.
Only 140 of the 260 eligible voters (57 per cent) cast ballots in the last election.
It was the second general election under the TFN's self-governance structure since the signing of the historic treaty.
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