The Saskatchewan NDP has a new party leader. Dr. Ryan Meili was announced as the party's new leader late Saturday afternoon, taking the top spot from fellow candidate Trent Wotherspoon by about one thousand votes.

Meili spoke after the announcement at the party's conference in Regina.

"People in Saskatchewan are ready for change and New Democrats are ready to lead," said Meili.

"We're going to be out there talking to everyone we can. Hearing what's really on people's minds, the challenges, the problems with the current government, but more importantly the dreams, the big ideas."

Eighty-one percent of party members voted in the leadership race, casting over 10,000 votes.

Meili became the MLA for Saskatoon-Mewassin last year, a seat left vacant by the passing of Sask Party MLA Roger Parent. Meili previously ran for leadership of the NDP twice but did not succeed, losing to Lingenfelter in 2009 and to Cam Broten in 2013.

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