Mélanie Joly steps down as leader of Vrai changement pour Montréal

Mélanie Joly, who ran for mayor of Montreal and came in second in last fall's municipal election, announced today she is stepping down as head of the political party she created.

Former Montreal mayoral candidate says she will leave her party to work in the private sector

Mélanie Joly says the leader of the political party she created should be an elected official who sits on city council. (CBC)

Mélanie Joly, who ran for mayor of Montreal in last fall's municipal election, announced today she is stepping down as head of the political party she created.

"It was a hard decision to take," Joly told CBC Homerun's Sue Smith Friday afternoon.

Joly came in second in the mayoralty election.

"More than 122,000 people voted for me as mayor but the reality is I wasn’t elected…I’ve been present at nearly every city hall meeting, in the bleachers next to the journalists, but the reality is it’s very hard for me to stay leader of the party while I’m not elected," she said.

Joly, 35, said she was hoping a city council seat would open up, but she's not willing to wait anymore.

"I was really hoping there would be by-elections and there would be an opening. That’s not the case...I won’t put my career in parenthesis for the next 3 years. I have to move on and accept the fact that I’m not elected and move on with my career."

Joly, who said she will still remain the party's president, will work in the private sector.

"I’m going on to the business world, where I started my career, and I have interesting projects I want to pursue," Joly said, adding that a book she's written will be released on Oct. 15.

Former union leader Lorraine Pagé, a city councillor for the district of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, will take over as party leader.

Joly has close ties to federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, but she said running in the 2015 federal election is not on her radar — right now.

"I’ve been approached by many parties at the Quebec level and the federal level, and have always said no. My decision is really to go back into the business world. I’m not saying I am not interested in politics and that in the [future] I won’t go back to politics, but for now my decision is to stay basically in the business world."