Can Deepak Obhrai lead the Conservative Party to victory

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“Deepak will be a strong, experienced addition to the Conservative Party’s leadership race, bringing the perspective of nearly two decades of service to his constituents and all Canadians. I, along with all Conservatives, welcome Deepak to the leadership race and look forward to his contribution to it, said Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Official Opposition and interim Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

“Effective immediately, MP Dean Allison will assume the role of Official Opposition Critic for International Development.”

Obhrai, the dean of the Tory caucus, announced his intention to run for the party’s leadership in an email sent last week on Thursday to Conservative colleagues. It said, “Upon reflection, considering my strong background in communities, Parliament, International forum, being a grassroots advocate, I plan to put forward my name to run for the leadership of our party. At this time I am in touch with communities and supporters across the country to build a credible team to mount this campaign.”

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The others in the leadership race so far are Kellie Leitch, Maxime Bernier, Michael Chong and Tony Clement.

Meanwhile, Conservatives MPs are waiting to see if Peter McKay will enter the fray.

Jason Kenney decided not to run for the leadership earlier this month when he announced he was joining the race to lead the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta.

Obhrai, MP for Calgary Forest Lawn, was first elected as MP in 1997. He was then re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008; successively receiving a larger percentage of the popular vote.

He was born in Tanzania and attended school in three separate continents: in Tanzania, India and the United Kingdom. He immigrated to Canada with his family in 1977.

In January 2006, Harper appointed Deepak as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and in March 2008 was also appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation. In September 2013 he was given the additional responsibility of International Human Rights.

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In September 2013, Obhrai was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council for Canada, in recognition of his many years of public service as a Member of Parliament and in promoting the Government’s foreign affairs agenda internationally as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. – CINEWS

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