Former Liberal cabinet minister won't run against Charest, backs PQ

SHERBROOKE, Que. – A former Liberal cabinet minister who threatened to run as an Independent against Jean Charest in his home riding has instead decided to back the Parti Quebecois.

Marc Bellemare announced Friday he is throwing his support behind PQ candidate Serge Cardin, who represented Sherbrooke for the Bloc Quebecois between 1998 and 2011.

Bellemare is a former Charest cabinet minister who alleged a few years ago that Liberal party fundraisers influenced the selection of judges.

Charest and Bellemare then sued each other over the issue before eventually agreeing to drop legal proceedings.

Cardin says he is happy Bellemare is not running because of possible vote-splitting.

“We are pleased to learn that Marc Bellemare is supporting us,” a spokesman for Cardin said in an email. “Mr. Bellemare understood he would have split the vote….

“Like a majority of Quebecers, Mr. Bellemare considers that Quebec deserves more than a corrupted and washed-up government.

One recent poll suggested Cardin was leading Charest by 15 percentage points. The Liberal leader has represented Sherbrooke since 1998.

Bellemare left the Liberals in 2004 after they failed to fulfil an election promise to kill the province’s no-fault insurance law — legislation he has staunchly opposed for years.

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