300-rizvi--img00030

Former NDP candidate Mustafa Rizvi is throwing his support behind the Conservatives. (CBC)

Mustafa Rizvi, who ran for the New Democratic Party in the last federal election and was planning to run again under the party banner, has decided to endorse the Conservatives instead.

 

Rizvi, who becomes the second NDP candidate in two days to reveal they are switching parties, placed third in 2008 in the Ontario riding of Mississauga-Erindale. The riding is currently held by Tory candidate Bob Dechert.

Abbas Khawaja, of the Mississauga-Erindale NDP Riding Association, said Rizvi withdrew his candidacy a couple of weeks ago and that Michelle Bilek is the new candidate.

Officials with the NDP told CBC News that Rizvi initially told the party he would run, but dropped out as a candidate for nomination before the writ was dropped. Party official said they understoon Rizvi was getting married and wouldn't have time to campaign.

They said he was accused in a local newspaper after the 2008 election of being a Tory plant, but that the NDP had nothing to do with those stories or discussions.

Rizvi is not the first candidate to drop out of the campaign or endorse a rival candidate.

Tony Genco, who ran for the Liberals in a November byelection in Vaughan and finished second behind Julian Fantino of the Conservatives, endorsed Fantino Wednesday. Genco was not nominated this time. A Liberal candidate in British Columbia also quit the campaign this week, saying he was not prepared to commit the time required for politics.

On Tuesday, Ryan Dolby, a southwestern Ontario NDP candidate, announced he had pulled out of the election campaign and thrown his support behind the Liberals.

Dolby said he was concerned about the possibility of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper forming a majority government. The NDP have nominated Fred Sinclair to take Dolby's place.