QUEBEC CITY - PQ leader Pauline Marois outdrew MNA Daniel Ratthé Thursday, ejecting him one day from the party before he was to announce that he was leaving to sit as an independent and perhaps joining Francois Legault's fledgling Coalition for a Future Quebec (CAQ).

Marois held a press conference Thursday to announce that she showed Ratthé the door due to his lack of conviction.

Ratthé, MNA for Blainville since 2008, bumped his own press conference up a day to announce his departure, mentioning that he already told PQ whip Nicole Leger of his intentions and had advised Marois of his decision prior to her press conference.

"Who dumped who? We won't go there," said Ratthé. "We came to the same conclusion that I had to leave."

Ratthé said that his constituents have told him they are not currently interested in pursuing sovereignty and he himself confessed to not being a "hardcore sovereignist."

He said that even a change in leadership could not bring him back to PQ.

"My decision is firm and irrevocable," he said. "It's a kind of relief I'm coming here to tell you that I'm going to sit as an independent."

"The people are asking is to solve much more bigger problems like health care, daycare and I'm fed up to be everyday talking about crisis," he said. "I would prefer talking to you guys about projects."

Vachon PQ MNA Martine Ouellet denounced her former colleague as having had a "parallel agenda."

"Ratthé chose to reject the Parti Quebecois to join the turncoat, Mr. (Charles) Sirois and Mr. Legault. I think it's a shame," she said.

The spokesman for the CAQ, Jean-François Del Torchio, said little about Legault's discussions with Ratthé, saying that the party is currently more preoccupied with its ongoing merger discussions with the Action Democratique de Quebec. (ADQ)

Ratthé's departure capped a week which also saw Marois punish Beauharnois MNA Guy Leclair, who denied making embarrassing comments to the media for the leadership of the PQ leader.

One political analyst told CTV Montreal that the departure is a sign of further trouble for the PQ.

"Time is short between now and the next election," said Pierre-Paul Noreau, Political Editorialist at Le Devoir. "If there's something to change on the leadership question it has to be done really fast."

With a file from The Canadian Press