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Duceppe to seek PQ leadership

May 11, 2007 01:34 PM

allan woods

Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA – Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe is leaving federal politics to seek the leadership of the sovereignist Parti Quebecois, a party spokesman confirmed today.

Duceppe, who has been a member of Parliament for 17 years, announced his decision today in a news release distributed to reporters in Ottawa.

"In the best interests of the sovereignty movement, I think it’s time to put an end to the suspense," he wrote, adding that he had advised PQ president Mmonique Richard and Pauline Marois, who has been cast as his main challenger in the race.

Early polls of PQ supporters have actually given Marois, who finished second to outgoing leader Andre Boisclair, more support than Duceppe.

The outgoing Bloc leader was not expected to speak to reporters until Monday, when he plans to hold a news conference in Quebec City.

"I have a good knowledge of Parti Quebecois militants, as they are often the same as those of the Bloc Quebecois. I am regularly meeting with them and listening to them on the ground, in the different regions of Quebec, and I am well aware of their aspirations."

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