Que. Liberal Folco won't run again

Veteran Liberal MP Raymonde Folco has announced she won't seek re-election in Laval-Les Îles riding.

Veteran Liberal MP Raymonde Folco has announced she won't seek re-election in Laval-Les Îles riding.

The five-term MP is leaving federal politics for personal reasons, according to a statement released Monday.

"I wish to thank my leader, Michael Ignatieff, for his unshakable support," Folco said. "I also wish to thank the voters in the riding of Laval-Les Îles for their support over five elections."

Her decision reportedly took the Liberal camp by surprise, with leader Michael Ignatieff only getting the news Sunday evening.

Folco, first elected in 1997, has never minced words in the political arena. She openly criticized past Liberal leaders Paul Martin and Stéphane Dion.

In 2007, Folco expressed what many feared about Dion's leadership, admitting aloud that he couldn't "cut it" with voters, especially in Quebec.

The Laval-Les Îles riding is considered a Liberal stronghold in the greater Montreal region. In the last federal election, Folco rode to victory with a margin of 9,027 votes.

In a statement, Liberal Party officials said they'll announce a new candidate soon.