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Quebec separatist party may return to power

September 5, 2012 • World News


Voters make their way to cast their ballots in L’Assomption, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. Voters in Quebec weighed returning a separatist party to power as polls opened Tuesday in the French-speaking province, which could edge toward another referendum to break away from Canada if the Parti Quebecois ends nearly a decade of Liberal rule as expected. Quebec has held two referendums to split from Canada, in 1980 and 1995, the last narrowly rejecting independence. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick )

MONTREAL (AP) — People in Quebec weighed returning a separatist party to power as they voted Tuesday in the French-speaking province, which could edge toward another referendum to break away from Canada if the Parti Quebecois ends nearly a decade of Liberal rule as expected.

Liberal leader Jean Charest, who has headed Quebec for nearly a decade, has consistently trailed in the polls to Pauline Marois’ Parti Quebecois since he called an early election on Aug. 1. But most polls indicate Marois — who could become the province’s first female premier — will not have enough votes to obtain a majority of the seats in the Quebec Assembly, undermining efforts to quickly hold a referendum on separation.

Quebec has held two referendums to split from Canada, in 1980 and 1995, the last narrowly rejecting independence.

Polls show there’s little appetite for a new referendum and Marois herself has left much uncertainty about if and when one would be held under a PQ government. A recent poll showed support for independence under 30 percent, but analysts say voters are Login to read more

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