Montreal

Véronique Hivon quits Parti Québécois leadership race for health reasons

Véronique Hivon is ending her bid to become the next leader of the Parti Québécois due to health reasons, a campaign spokesperson said Friday.

PQ MNA was in battle to replace Pierre Karl Péladeau

Parti Québécois MNA Véronique Hivon was seen as one of the top candidates in the leadership race. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Véronique Hivon is ending her bid to become the next leader of the Parti Québécois due to health reasons, a campaign spokeswoman said Friday. 

Hivon is dealing with labyrinthitis, which is an inflammation of the inner ear that can cause vertigo, Pascale Sévigny said in a statement.

She had been ordered by a doctor to rest for four weeks and so decided to drop out of the race.

Hivon was considered one of the frontrunners for the job.

Alexandre Cloutier, Jean-François Lisée, Martine Ouellet and Paul St-Pierre Plamondon are the candidates still in the running.

Hivon said she wants to stay neutral and won't be endorsing any of her former rivals.

Hivon is a 'key player'

Cloutier, who is a friend of Hivon's, said he knew how badly she wanted to win the top job.

"Véronique is a key player, a star player of the Parti Québecois, so all I want now is for her to come back healthy," he said in an interview with Radio-Canada.

Ouellet said for Hivon, doing politics differently is more than a catchphrase.

"The contributions she made will live on. We need Véronique for Quebec, for independence, and the ideas she had will be developed," she said.

​Lisée sent Hivon a tweet Friday afternoon acknowledging how hard it must be for her to drop out given what she invested in the race.

The PQ will select its new leader Oct. 7.

with files from Radio-Canada

now