Robert Morrissey has withdrawn as the nominated Liberal candidate for the next federal election in the western P.E.I. riding of Egmont.

Morrissey made the announcement in a news release Tuesday morning.

"A number of new opportunities have arisen in the private sector which make my continued candidacy untenable," said Morrissey, "especially given the continued uncertainty over an election date.

"There are a number of very important and challenging issues facing the riding, the province and the country — which will all require a great deal of time and attention."

Morrissey said he does intend to be active in the upcoming election, and looks forward to assisting both the riding and the new candidate.

A former provincial cabinet minister, Morrissey won the nomination in November after sitting Liberal MP Joe McGuire announced he would not reoffer. Former premier Keith Milligan had also offered for the nomination.

Egmont is considered one of the safest Liberal seats in the country, having been represented by the party since 1980. There is no indication when a new nomination convention might be held.

Gail Shea, also a former provincial cabinet minister, remains the Conservative candidate.