MONTREAL— Sylvain Gaudreault had hoped to restore faith in the way Laval is managed, but the municipal affairs minister’s decision to appoint a special auditor sparked an immediate reaction.

“I think that it's very important because we are in a lack of confidence between the citizens and the administration of Laval, so I think it's very important to pass into action now,” said Gaudreault.

On Monday, Gaudreault announced that within the next year an auditor would be appointed to oversee affairs in Quebec's third-largest city. The auditor would compile periodic reports on everything from the awarding of municipal contracts to general city administration.

A day later, the vice chair of Laval’s executive committee withdrew his name for nomination for mayor. Basile Angelopoulos had been the only candidate put forward by the one-party council.

Last week, Laval’s city council voted to no longer award contracts for anything but urgent repairs and public safety. Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt resigned Friday amid allegations of kickbacks and corruption.

With Vaillancourt gone, Angelopoulos said he didn't understand the motives of the government, especially given that there have been no charges laid in connection with any wrong-doing in Laval

Opposition mayoralty candidate Robert Bordealeau said Angelopolous' decision to withdraw his candidacy to be interim mayor only shows the culture of arrogance still exists at city hall. And Laval's other opposition party also supports the government move, as do many members of the national assembly.

The Laval city council, which has not had any opposition councillors for more than a decade, must choose an interim mayor within the next month.

Angelopoulos said he is now is waiting for the provincial government to explain what it intends to do with the city before council chooses an interim mayor.

Jean-Francois Lisee, the Parti Quebecois minister responsible for Montreal, said that he would give the unhappy council a few days to “cool down.”