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Ignatieff named Liberal interim leader

Michael Ignatieff is set to lead the federal Liberals after caucus members gave him the green light in a closed door meeting earlier today.

Their decision made the Toronto MP interim leader in everything but name. That title came later this afternoon when the Liberal national executive officially approved Ignatieff’s leadership.

Until Bob Rae withdrew his bid yesterday, the former Ontario premier was considered the only competition for the position. But today he helped nominate Ignatieff and joined outgoing Liberal leader Stephane Dion in praising the political newcomer.

According to recent reports, Liberals said they weren’t certain whether the party would spearhead a drive to topple Stephen Harper’s government when Parliament meets next month.

They indicated the decision to pursue a coalition with the NDP would depend on the economic stimulus measures contained in the budget proposed by the Conservatives on Jan. 27.

Even though Ignatieff is now essentially a shoe-in to lead the Liberals, next May’s party convention in Vancouver will still take place as planned.

Geoff Dembicki is a staff reporter for the Hook.

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