Just one year after being elected leader of the Parti Quebecois, Pierre Karl Peladeau announced Monday that he is stepping down, citing family reasons.
The 54-year old, formerly the chief executive officer of Quebecor, made the surprise announcement in Montreal, resigning not only from his party’s leadership but also his seat in Quebec’s national assembly.
“I had to make a difficult choice between my family and our political project,” he said in his brief remarks. “I chose my family.”
Calling the decision an agonizing one, Peladeau was fighting back tears during his announcement, after which he did not take questions.
“I make this decision for the well-being of my children,” he said. “I must, for them, remain a good example.”
Peladeau has two children with his former partner Julie Snyder, from whom he split in January.
He was elected leader last May, unseating Pauline Marois with 57.6 per cent of the vote, one year after loudly declaring that he would “make Quebec a country.” His resignation was qualified by a pledge to remain a member and supporter of the PQ.