Amendments made to MCK Election Law set to go to CDMP

The Kahnawake Election Law will go to the Community Decision Making Process with a number of small amendments being made with the idea of making elections more efficient and, of course, legally defensible, the general manager of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake executive office said.

MCK executive office general manager Andrea Montour said late Tuesday afternoon that some “minor terms and amendments,” will be put to the community for a vote, including a by-election if the Grand Chief position becomes vacant for any period of time.

“Minor terms and definitions need to be amended to be in alignment with terms in the Kahnawake Residency Law and the Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawake Law,” she said. “Other proposed amendments include holding a by-election in the instance the Grand Chief become vacant for any reason, regardless if it was less than 18 months. Currently, the law states that the position would be filled if more than 18 months until the next election.”

Montour added that the changes should have no effect on current chiefs and that transparency is the priority.

“We believe these amendments are necessary to manage the election process as efficiently and effectively as possible while ensuring the process is legally defensible. Transparency and fairness are important,” she said. “It will have very little, if any, effect on the chiefs themselves. The proposed changes are process-based.”

Montour said it’s standard operating procedure to re-evaluate the process after every election in order to improve when issues arise.

“Amendments were made to the law twice in recent years,” Montour said. “After each election, any issues that may have raised are noted and recommendations made for improvement. The amendments being proposed were identified as key issues to address. The recommendations were made from various individuals on the Elections Working Group, including the Electoral Officer.”

Follow-up information and community engagement sessions will be announced shortly, which will be followed by a meeting to determine whether a mandate will be given by the community to move forward with the amendments through the CDMRP, the MCK said.

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase