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Conservatives disqualify Karahalios from leadership race a second time

Conservatives disqualify Karahalios from leadership race a second time
Politics
OTTAWA -- Jim Karahalios won t be allowed to run for the federal Conservative party s leadership, despite a court ruling that reopened the door to his candidacy.

Party spokesperson Cory Hann says the leadership organizing committee has disallowed the longtime Ontario conservative activist s candidacy -- as allowed by the court ruling.

The decision comes after an Ontario court ruled Wednesday that Karahalios could be a candidate if he met certain conditions previously laid down by the party within 14 days.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell said the party s returning officer and dispute committee overstepped their authority when they disqualified Karahalios in March.

That followed a complaint from Erin O Toole s campaign alleged that Karahalios had engaged in racist and Islamophobic attacks against its campaign chair.

However, Perell ruled the party s leadership organizing committee does have the authority to disqualify a candidate and could still choose to do so in this case -- which it has now done.

Perell had said Karahalios was entitled to resume his candidacy if over the next 14 days he came up with the $300,000 entry fee and paid additional penalties meted out by the party amounting to another $100,000.

The decision leaves just four official candidates in the race: O Toole, former cabinet minister Peter MacKay, Toronto lawyer Leslyn Lewis and Ontario MP Derek Sloan.
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