MONTREAL - Three former ADQ candidates will be running as provincial Liberals in the upcoming election, as Premier Jean Charest introduced Linda Lapointe, Jean-Francois Gosselin and Pascal Beaupre in a press conference Sunday morning.

The trio spoke of their commitment to economic progress and of their commitment to federalism, which led to some back-and-forth online jibes with the CAQ leader Francois Legault.

Most ADQ members, a right-of-centre movement long-led by Mario Dumont, joined the newly formed Coalition Avenir Quebec, led by former PQ Cabinet Minister Francois Legault.

However this trio opted instead to join the Liberals and cast doubt in their comments on Legault’s renunciation of his separatist roots, which led Francois Legalt to later assert that they had been rejected as CAQ candidates.

Beaupre used his time at the podium to praise Charest for his stand against the student unrest.

Lapointe scored a respectable 20 percent in the last provincial election as ADQ candidate in Groulx, which the PQ narrowly won over the Liberals.

Beaupre scored a similar percentage of the vote in Joliette, which was taken by the PQ with a large margin last election.

Gosselin also a former MNA of La Peltrie, a seat won in 2008 by the ADQ’s Eric Caire.

The three had been elected as ADQ MNAs in 2007 but failed to be re-elected in 2008.

Legault responded to the announcement by tweeting that the three were not going to be chosen as CAQ candidates and responded with a one-word hostile replique to Lapointe: "pathetic," he wrote in response to her claim that she rejected the CAQ first.

The exact date of the upcoming election remains unknown but is expected to be announced mid-week.

-With a file from The Canadian Press