Montreal

Jean-François Lisée withdraws from PQ leadership race

Jean-François Lisée will withdraw his bid for the Parti Québécois leadership on Friday afternoon.

In YouTube video to supporters, Lisée said he believes PKP will win PQ leadership

PQ MNA Jean-François Lisée will announce his withdrawal from the leadership race on Friday afternoon. (Clement Allard/CP)

Jean-François Lisée has withdrawn his bid for the Parti Québécois leadership.

With a handful of supporters behind him, Lisée made the announcement at a news conference Friday afternoon, saying that he believes fellow leadership candidate Pierre Karl Peladeau's victory is a foregone conclusion.

"What's the political reality?" Lisée asked. "We feel is he will be chief of the PQ so once you come to this conclusion, what's the point? What's the point of criticizing [and] having controversies?" 

Lisée first announced his intention to run on Nov. 3.

Since then, he had on several occasions voiced concerns over rival candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau's majority shares in media conglomerate Quebecor.

First elected in 2012, Lisée was a senior cabinet minister in Pauline Marois's minority government, responsible for international relations and the Montreal region.

He was re-elected in 2014, when the PQ managed to win only 30 of the province's 125 ridings.

The remaining leadership candidates are MNAs Bernard Drainville, Pierre Karl Péladeau, Alexandre Cloutier, Martine Ouellet, and labour rights activist Pierre Céré.

Lisée said he won't publicly back any of them, leaving his supporters free to support whomever they wish.

With files from The Canadian Press

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