Saskatchewan Liberal leader resigns two months ahead of election

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Saskatchewan’s Liberal Party appears to be headed into next month’s provincial election without a leader.

A post on the party’s website from last week says Naveed Anwar has resigned as Liberal leader, citing only his decision to focus on “social causes outside of politics.”

Anwar, who owns a tax consulting company based in Saskatoon, was acclaimed as leader in May 2018. He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The post on the Liberal website from Sept. 9 says the party will start looking for an interim leader, but offers no timeline. Party officials could not be reached.

The election is expected on Oct. 26.

The Liberals announced in July that Anwar would run in Saskatoon University against incumbent Saskatchewan Party MLA Eric Olauson and the NDP’s Jennifer Bowes. Olauson beat Bowes in 2016 by 348 votes, fewer than Liberal challenger Ezaz Jaseem received.

The party listed three candidates on its website on Wednesday, with Anwar removed from the list. Anwar ran for the Liberals in Saskatoon Westview in 2016 in a deliberate attempt to siphon votes from then NDP leader Cam Broten. Broten lost by three fewer votes than Anwar earned.

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