A quick post to note the results of the election in Québec where the nationalist Parti Québécois (or PQ) under leader Pauline Marois has had a narrow victory over the incumbent Liberal Party led by veteran politician Jean Charest. However the PQ celebrations were soon interrupted by news of a lone-terrorist attack by an Anglophone extremist on a PC rally in Montréal where Marois was speaking.
From the Irish Times:
“A masked gunman shot dead one person inside the Montreal theatre where the leader of Quebec’s separatist Parti Quebecois was addressing supporters in the wake of a narrow election win in the Canadian province, police said today.
The incident was shocking for Canada, where crime rates are relatively low and political violence is unheard of.
The shooting eclipsed the news that the Parti Quebecois had only just defeated the ruling Liberals and would have to be content with a minority government, effectively ruling out another referendum on breaking away from Canada.
Pauline Marois, the first female premier of Quebec, had just told her supporters the province would one day be independent when her bodyguards rushed her from the stage. She later returned to finish her speech.
Montreal police spokesman Danny Richer said a man aged about 50 entered the back of the Metropolis theater at about midnight (4am Irish time) and shot two people. Police said a man in his 40s died on the spot, another was taken to hospital in a critical condition. The suspect also set fire to the back of the building.
He appeared to shout in French the phrase “The English are waking up”. Ms Marois had promised to strengthen laws designed to ensure the dominance of the French language, which has worried some in the minority English-speaking community.
The PQ won 54 of the 125 seats in the provincial legislature, ending nine years of rule by the Liberals.
The results showed the Liberals had won 50 seats, down 14 from the 64 they held at dissolution. Premier Jean Charest, who lost his seat, emphasised that the PQ had only won a minority.
The right-leaning CAQ, on course to win 19 seats with 27 percent of the vote, wants to freeze all talk of a referendum for a decade and focus on the economy.
The Liberals won three successive elections from 2003 to 2008, but became increasingly unpopular amid allegations of corruption in the construction industry that might be linked to the financing of political parties.
Preliminary results of yesterday’s election are as follows (figures in brackets show the number of seats at dissolution): PQ 54 (47); Liberals; 50 (64); CAQ 19 (9); Quebec Solidaire 2 (1); Option Nationale 0 (1); Independents 0 (2).”