Ex-Quebec Liberal to run as Independent after dispute over secularism charter
QUEBEC - The only Muslim woman in the Quebec National Assembly is confirming she will run as an Independent in the provincial election.
Fatima Houda-Pepin said Tuesday she will seek re-election in the Montreal-area riding of La Piniere.
Houda-Pepin represented La Piniere for the Liberals from 1994 until earlier this year when she parted company with the party over its position on the government's proposed secularism charter.
Houda-Pepin said she is not concerned about splitting the Liberal vote in the riding.
“The only way not to split the vote in my riding is to vote for a true Liberal and a true federalist,” she said, dismissing her opponent, ex-CAQiste candidate Gaetan Barrette, who she claimed is simply making a power grab.
“He was CAQiste eighteen months ago. Today he is Liberal because he feels maybe he has a chance to become a minister,” she said.
Barrette, who is president of the Quebec Federation of Medical Specialists, announced Monday he would run under Couillard’s leadership.
Couillard said he isn’t worried about Barrette’s motives.
“I know that Dr. Barrette will do a great campaign in his riding and he will win, now anybody can run; that's democracy,” he said.
Parti Quebecois Premier Pauline Marois is widely expected to call an April 7 vote on Wednesday.
With a report from CTV Montreal