Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel issued a statement on Friday night to say he will ask the Court of Queen’s Bench to overturn a five-year ban on running for public office.

With Alberta’s main political parties gearing up for a spring election, Mandel’s name could be seen on Elections Alberta’s online list of ineligible candidates on Friday night.

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While dozens of names affiliated with different parties appear on the list, Mandel’s was the most notable. According to the Elections Alberta website, Mandel is not eligible to run as a candidate until Sept. 27, 2023.

In a statement issued late Friday night, the Alberta Party said Mandel was handed the ban because he did not file all of his required financial paperwork on time.

“Elections Alberta notified Mandel that his financial return was late following his nomination as the Alberta Party candidate for Edmonton-McClung after the required deadline,” the Alberta Party said, adding that Mandel’s status as leader of the Alberta Party “remains unchanged.”

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“First and foremost, we respect the decision of Elections Alberta, and getting financial paperwork in on time is important,” Mandel said. “The penalties for late filing are serious, and I and some of our candidates are currently facing a five-year suspension from being able to run for public office.

“While this is concerning, we also believe there is confusion about the actual due dates this paperwork is due to Elections Alberta. Because the penalties for
late filing are so serious, we have also applied to the Court of Queen’s Bench to review and rule on this matter as soon as possible.

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“Based on our interpretation of a July 2018 letter we received from Elections Alberta, we believe we have filed within the required deadline,” Mandel added. “We hope our efforts will clarify the rules, which will benefit all candidates — as well as the democratic process.”

READ MORE: Election promises already? Alberta party leaders in ‘wooing stage’ ahead of writ drop

Watch below: (From Jan. 31, 2019) An NDP announcement on Thursday had all the appearances of a government in full blown campaign mode, but no writ has been dropped for the spring election. As Jill Croteau reports, some are criticizing the politics of campaigning before the election is called.

“We don’t want to see good candidates discouraged from running because they aren’t sure about the rules,” Mandel said.

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The Alberta Party said Mandel would be available to speak with reporters on Saturday.

Mandel is a former mayor of Edmonton who went on to serve as a cabinet minister under Jim Prentice’s Progressive Conservative government until the NDP defeated the PC party in the 2015 election.

READ MORE: Stephen Mandel wins Alberta Party leadership race

Watch below: Some Global News videos about Stephen Mandel.

You can read a letter sent by lawyers on behalf of Mandel to Alberta’s chief electoral officer about his concerns below.

You can read a letter sent to Mandel by Elections Alberta about the matter below.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Elections Alberta gives Alberta Party leader 5-year-ban from running as candidate, Mandel plans appeal



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