Gilles Duceppe drops out of Parti Québécois leadership race

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Province of Québec, Canada.

Just one day after announcing his intention to run for the leadership of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Bloc Québécois (BQ) leader Gilles Duceppe announced Saturday that he has dropped out of the race.

Duceppe also announced that he is supporting Pauline Marois, the only remaining candidate at the moment, in her bid to become PQ leader. Marois, a former PQ cabinet minister, is very popular with PQ members and shown to be the preferred PQ candidate in recent polls.

"We need to renew the dialogue of sovereigntist movement with Quebecers," said Duceppe in a press release.

Before their announcements on Friday, Duceppe and Marois had arranged to meet this weekend to get a feel for each other's intentions with regard to a leadership bid. Before those discussions could take place, Duceppe announced his bid to the media Friday morning. Marois announced her candidacy minutes later. “I decided this morning,” said Marois when asked about the timing of her decision.

PQ MNA Marie Malavoy expressed her surprise at Marois' declaration of candidacy on Friday, but offered her support. “Things happened very fast. I thought it would come after the weekend,” said Malavoy at the time. “She couldn't allow it to float around all weekend. It was important for her to announce her candidacy quickly.”

It is not clear yet if other potential leadership candidates will join the race.

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