Former B.C. cabinet minister Moe Sihota is stepping down as president of the B.C. New Democrats, continuing a wave of housecleaning in the opposition party that began earlier this week with the announced departure of party Leader Adrian Dix.
Both decisions come after the NDP lost the May provincial election despite a polling lead that soared as high as twenty points before voting day, but dwindled in the face of a jobs-focused B.C. Liberal campaign that included pointed attacks on Mr. Dix.
Indeed, the NDP ended up with fewer seats and a reduced share of the popular vote as the Liberals were elected to a fourth majority mandate.
The NDP announced Saturday that Mr. Sihota would step down as president when his term ends in November. He was first elected in 2009 and re-elected by party members in December, 2011.
In a statement, Mr. Sihota said he looked forward to a "new generation of leadership for the party," but made no reference to the election, which has caused intense debate among New Democrats on how they can do better in the 2017 provincial election.
Mr. Sihota held various cabinet posts including labour, environment and education in the governments of Mike Harcourt, Glen Clark and Ujjal Dosanjh over a decade of NDP government throughout the 1990s.
Earlier this week, Mr. Dix said he was stepping down as leader once his successor was chosen at a leadership convention to be held in 2014. The former chief of staff to Glen Clark was elected leader in 2011.