Former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe has offered his unconditional support to Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois, and says he is not interested in replacing her.
In a candid letter dated Nov. 8 addressed "Dear Pauline", Duceppe wrote that he has no intention of returning to politics for the time being because he's not ready, although he doesn't exclude joining Marois and the PQ in the future.
Duceppe continued: "I don't support or encourage any challenge to your leadership."
The letter also contains a rallying cry for sovereignists, with Duceppe urging péquistes to let Marois and the PQ do their work in peace.
"Let's stop being divided [because] it's the only way we'll convince Quebecers to have confidence in us," Duceppe wrote.
The former leader of the Bloc told Marois that nobody is better prepared to lead the PQ to victory in the next election than she is, and that she has all the "legitimacy, experience and determination to succeed in that goal."
Duceppe asked Marois to make the letter public.
Recent polls suggest that the Parti Québécois would fare better under Duceppe's reign, and would even beat the ruling Liberals and François Legault's new party if Duceppe were in charge.
Marois has been battling calls for her resignation from within her party for weeks.
She lost five members of her caucus in June, which plunged the PQ into a prolonged crisis. They now sit as Independents in the national assembly.