By Scott Costen
MERYAM Haddad is fighting to rejoin the Green Party of Canada leadership race after being kicked out by party officials for unknown reasons yesterday.
The Montreal-area immigration lawyer announced on social media last night she had been expelled from the contest.
The news prompted her supporters to adopt the #IStandWithMeryam hashtag.
Haddad is appealing the decision, which she described as “an attack on democracy, youth, progress, and ideas that threaten the status quo.”
She said the appeal process is expected to conclude tomorrow afternoon.
Haddad indicated the party told her she had violated leadership campaign rules that forbid candidates from “intentionally undertak[ing] any action which would bring the GPC into disrepute.”
Haddad has not responded to Redaction Politics’ interview requests today and has not said what “action” may have landed her in trouble with the party.
The GPC’s press secretary declined to comment on the situation when contacted earlier today.
They said: “At this time I can only say that Ms. Haddad has been invited to present her appeal.”
GPC leadership candidate Amita Kuttner called Haddad’s expulsion from the race “pretty shocking and extreme.”
“The way that the party has announced things, or dealt with complaints or proceedings in the past, has been pretty messy,” they told Redaction Politics.
Kuttner expressed concern that some transgressions in the GPC are dealt with severely, while others are left unaddressed.
“I have no idea what’s going on,” Kuttner said about the possible cause of Haddad’s expulsion. “Whatever it is, there are open accounts of discrimination and abuse in the party that have not been taken this seriously.”
“If they stand by their decision to expel Meryam, I’m going to be pushing for them to hold everybody to the same account,” they said.
Kuttner said losing Haddad as a candidate will deprive members of a viable and meaningful option.
“I have appreciated getting to know Meryam and I think she brings a really important perspective and voice to the race,” they said.
Justice Greens, a grassroots collective that supports moving the GPC to the left, is also lamenting the ouster of Haddad, one of their preferred candidates in the race.
“Most of last evening was spent just trying to figure out what exactly was going on and what a proper response would be,” said Connor Kelly, an activist within the group.
He blamed Haddad’s expulsion on the party establishment and likened it to the undermining of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign by Democratic Party insiders.
It is possible that Haddad may have ran afoul of party officials early yesterday when she endorsed a one-time electoral alliance with the federal New Democratic Party.
Such an arrangement could be seen to violate the spirit, if not the letter, of Article 4 of the GPC constitution, which says the party’s purpose includes: “Fielding, endorsing and electing members of the Party as candidates of the Party in every riding for election to the House of Commons and supporting their election.”
Haddad may also be in trouble for demanding the BC Greens, who are on the election trail after a snap election call, move left in order to “earn” her support.
Such a position appears contrary to another one of the party’s purposes outlined in Article 4, namely “working in solidarity with green parties of other jurisdictions, and green parties globally.”
Nearly 35,000 party members are eligible to vote, using a ranked ballot system, for long-time leader Elizabeth May’s replacement.
The winner is expected to be announced October 3.
Featured Image: Meryam Haddad campaign
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