MONTREAL – Gilles Duceppe is expected to announce today that he is stepping down as leader of the Bloc Quebecois.
He has scheduled a news conference in Montreal for 1 p.m. ET.
Duceppe led the Bloc to victory in just 10 of Quebec’s 78 ridings in Monday’s federal election and saw the party’s share of the popular vote drop to below 20 per cent.
He also lost his own Montreal riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie for the second straight election to the NDP’s Helene Laverdiere.
The Bloc leader said after the election that he would announce his decision about his political future after speaking with Bloc candidates and party brass.
Duceppe, 68, led the Bloc for 14 years before he stepped down in 2011 after the party won just four seats. He became leader once again last June, when language-activist Mario Beaulieu stepped aside to make way for the more widely known and respected politician.
Parti Quebecois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau said Wednesday that he wants Duceppe to stay on, saying the BQ leader has a handle on federal issues as well as a good knowledge of federal intrusion into provincial jurisdiction.
Peladeau didn’t specify whether he had spoken with Duceppe since the election.