Former Deputy Premier questioning dismissal of UCP candidate in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo

A former Deputy Premier of Alberta under the now defunct Progressive Conservative Party is saying Zulkifl Mujahid’s dismissal as the UCP candidate for the Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo riding is very unusual.

Thomas Lukaszuk says this is the dirty side of politics, and we’re seeing it a lot right now with the UCP.

“You have a Premier who is being investigated by the Ethics Commissioner, you have a Minister of Justice who is being investigated by the Law Society,” claims Lukaszuk.

The UCP stated on Wednesday that Mujahid is named in legal matters that will be before the courts during the writ period.

In December of 2022, Mujahid defeated incumbent and current MLA Tany Yao for the right to represent the UCP in the upcoming election.

“(Yao) is a big supporter of Danielle Smith. So any reason would have been good enough for Smith to get rid of (Mujahid) and keep her MLA.”

Harvard Media News confirmed that a private individual in Fort McMurray filed a restraining order against Mujahid on April 3, with the court date set for May 8.

Lukaszuk says it’s not hard to get a restraining order.

“I can get one of these restraining orders against you tomorrow. You file for it, and there is a very low level of proof. You will have your day in court. Most of these things are dismissed.”

Lukaszuk says this appears to be unfair, and is another case of misuse of justice, using the justice system to a political end, and abusing the courts.

“If this matter is just drummed up to simply disqualify him from running, then this should be investigated.”

Mujahid is also the defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed in February by a local business owner. The plaintiff in the defamation case suit is not the same as the individual who filed the restraining order.

Lukaszuk questions if this person who is suing Mujahid is really suing him because something happened, or if that person is doing a favour for the Premier.

“The sad part is that he won’t be able to clear his name until it’s too late.”

The UCP says they will work with the local riding association to find a replacement for Mujahid.

The provincial election is scheduled for May 29 and Premier Smith says she intends to drop the writ of election on May 1.

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