Friday, September 7, 2012

Quebec premier announces resignation after electoral defeat

Quebec's outgoing Premier Jean Charest

Source: Press TV

Jean Charest has announced his resignation as the head of Quebec's ruling Liberal Party and consequently the province’s premier, a day after the party suffered a humiliating defeat in the provincial elections.

Charest, who has been the premier of the majority French-speaking province for nine years, said on Wednesday that he had decided to leave politics in the coming days after consulting with his family.

"The decision was unanimous. I will leave my post as leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec in a few days, once a new government is formed," he told reporters at a news conference at the National Assembly in Quebec City.

Charest said he was stepping down without regrets. “I'm going home now. I thank you for the privilege that you gave me to enable me to be your premier."

On Tuesday, the 54-year-old lost his seat to Pauline Marois of the Parti Quebecois (PQ), who will become the province's first woman premier.

The PQ formed a minority government by winning 54 of the provincial legislature’s 125 seats. With 50 seats, the Liberal Party was relegated to the opposition.

The liberals started losing popularity after proposing a university tuition fee hike, which sparked months of massive street protests across the province.

The newly-elected prime minister has promised to revoke the controversial tuition hike.

During the electoral campaigns, Marois also promised that if elected, she would call for a referendum on the separation of Quebec from Canada.

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