MNAs to debate eliminating Manon Massé's riding
Published Monday, February 13, 2017 2:14PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 13, 2017 6:55PM EST
The Parti Québécois will not put forward a candidate in the Gouin byelection, a riding left vacant after the resignation of Quebec Solidaire leader Françoise David.
Québec solidaire has already planned to put forward a candidate in that Montreal riding for the race, which is taking place March 26.
At the end of January, PQ leader Jean-François Lisée said he was considering whether or not to nominate a candidate in the race.
Now he said he is eager to work with the left-wing party.
"We want to somehow add the forces of Quebec Solidaire and the Parti Quebecois in a way that is yet to be determined next year, we thought it would be extremely counter-productive to have all our partisans in Gouin for a byelection fighting one another," said Lisée.
Quebec Solidaire said it was disappointed by the PQ decision, and called it a missed opportunity for a debate of ideas.
Gouin was a stronghold for the PQ for decades, with PQ candidates winning in every election from 1976 to 2012.
David had a tight battle with Nicolas Girard in 2007 and 2008, and then won the riding in 2012. By 2014, she had consolidated her victory by winning more than 50 per cent of the vote.
She decided to retire from politics last month, saying she didn’t feel she had the energy to continue the grueling pace of the job.
Meanwhile Quebec Solidaire is fighting to hold the riding now held by Manon Massé.
Quebec's electoral commission has recommended making changes to several ridings in Montreal, including the elimination of the riding of Sainte Marie Saint Jacques.
"We need to have a lot of voices and Quebec Solidaire is a different voice, and if we lose at the beginning we lose one riding, I think it's hard for us," said Massé.
MNAs will debate the proposed changes Tuesday in a five-hour session.