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Former official chosen to lead Liberal Party

In a surprising outcome, Stephane Dion, a former environment minister, edged out Michael Ignatieff, a former official at Harvard, for the leadership of Canada's Liberal Party on Saturday.

Ignatieff, who is also a well-known author and broadcaster, returned to Canada just last year after spending three decades in Britain and the United States. His lack of connections both within the Liberal Party and Canada in general seemed to play a role in his defeat. He led for the first two of the four convention ballots. But unlike Dion, he was unable to attract endorsements from other significant candidates as they dropped from the race.

On the final ballot, Dion, a former professor at the University of Montreal, got 54.7 percent of the 4,605 delegates' votes compared with 45.3 percent for Ignatieff.

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