Stéphane Le Bouyonnec, CAQ president and candidate, steps down

The president of the Coalition Avenir Québec has resigned from his post and will not be seeking election in the riding of La Prairie, on Montreal's South Shore.

Le Bouyonnec, who was the party's candidate in the La Prairie riding, made the announcement on Facebook

Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader François Legault walks alongside Stéphane Le Bouyonnec in August 2012. Le Bouyonnec was elected CAQ president in 2014. (The Canadian Press)

The president of the Coalition Avenir Québec has resigned from his post and will also not be seeking election in the riding of La Prairie, on Montreal's South Shore.

Stéphane Le Bouyonnec made the sudden announcement at 5 p.m. Tuesday on his Facebook page.

"I gave my time and my energy because I believe deeply in a richer and prouder Quebec," part of his statement reads.

"This objective is too important to risk tainting the campaign. That's the reason why I took this difficult decision."

Controversy around Le Bouyonnec began after an article in the Journal de Montréal stated that he once headed up an online lending firm. The firm, Techbanx, operated outside Quebec and was known for loaning money at very high rates.

Le Bouyonne then announced in June that he was leaving the board of the firm.

"I have the deep conviction that I have acted ethically during my career, both private and public," Le Bouyonnec's said on Facebook.

"That being said, I will refrain from making additional comments regarding the issue. I will have the opportunity to do so at a more opportune time."

Le Bouyonnec was elected president of the CAQ in 2014.

CAQ Leader François Legault told reporters Tuesday evening that he met with Le Bouyonnec Monday night.

He thanked him for his work over the years and accepted his resignation.

"He told me that he doesn't want to be a distraction for the campaign. He said it's very tough for his family. He has children reading bad things that are written since many days now against him. So I can understand," Legault said.

"He recognized that he made an error. He pulled out of the board, so what can I say? I was ready to keep him, but he decided to resign.… I wanted to give him a second chance. I think that when you look at the whole picture of what he did for politics in Quebec, I owed him that."

With files from Radio-Canada