Woman tipped to succeed Mulroney

OTTAWA - The resignation of the Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, as Conservative leader on Wednesday has opened the way for a woman to take over Canada's top political office for the first time. The Defence Minister, Kim Campbell, an outspoken Vancouver lawyer, has emerged as the strongest candidate and could succeed Mr Mulroney at a convention in June.

Mr Mulroney, whose poor standing with voters had become a liability for the Conservatives, announced he was stepping down after eight and a half years, allowing his party to renew its leadership before a general election in the autumn.

Ms Campbell, 45, was elected to parliament only five years ago and held the high-profile post of justice minister before moving to the powerful defence job in January. She has not confirmed she will stand, but political analysts believe she can revive the Conservatives' chances by attracting women's votes. 'Tomorrow I'll look at the lay of the land and if I have something to announce I'll announce it as soon as I have it,' she told reporters.

Ms Campbell is considered to be on the left of the party. She attracted widespread attention last year by posing for a photograph with bare shoulders. Her main rivals are the Trade Minister, Michael Wilson, the Communications Minister, Perrin Beatty, and the Environment Minister, Jean Charest.

Mr Charest, 34, the youngest cabinet member, is a Quebecois and a rising star in the party who could retain Conservative seats in the French-speaking province. Mr Wilson, 55, a former finance minister, has the backing of the Toronto business community. But he is handicapped by his close association with the unpopular economic policies that undermined Mr Mulroney, mainly a general sales tax and the free trade agreement with the United States that he helped to negotiate.

Mr Mulroney, a Quebecois of Irish descent, swept to power in 1984 in a landslide victory. But a severe recession and failure to resolve a separatist threat by Quebec have undermined his credibility. His opponents say he sold out to the US by signing the 1988 free trade agreement, which they blame for the worst rate of unemployment for eight years, with 1.5 million Canadians out of work.

The Prime Minister's future had been in doubt since the defeat in an October referendum of government proposals for constitutional reforms aimed at resolving the dispute over Quebec's desire for independence.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery Manager

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain