Montreal

Jean Charest quashes rumours of Conservative leadership bid to replace Stephen Harper

Jean Charest has ended speculation that he will be a candidate to replace outgoing Conservative leader Stephen Harper.

Former Quebec leader enjoying new life, won't return to politcs

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest has put an end to speculation that he might run to replace Stephen Harper as head of the Conservative party. (Reuters)

Jean Charest has ended speculation that he might be a candidate to replace outgoing Conservative leader Stephen Harper.

"I will not be a candidate to succeed Mr. Harper. I am very happy with my new life and with my work at the McCarthy Tétrault law firm," Charest wrote in an email to Radio-Canada.

Charest is on a business trip to France and Asia and will only return to Canada on November 11. 

No candidate has come come forward to replace Harper, who stepped down following the Conservative defeat last Monday. 

Some names mentioned as possible aspirants to the Conservative leadership include Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall and MPs Kellie Leitch, Maxime Bernier, Lisa Raitt and Jason Kenney, 

Charest served as Quebec premier from April 29, 2003 to September 19, 2012. Prior to that he served as Progressive Conservative MP from September 4, 1984 to November 30, 1998.

Charest was the youngest-ever Canadian cabinet minister while serving under Brian Mulroney and later placed second in the leadership Progressive Conservative 1993 leadership race behind Kim Campbell. 

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