Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard rules out snap provincial election

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard rules out snap provincial election

TEL AVIV, Israel — Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he is ruling out a snap provincial election.

Couillard said Wednesday he does not want to take advantage of his opponents’ perceived weaknesses.

Although Quebec has fixed election dates, the premier has the right to call a vote earlier than expected, as Pauline Marois did in 2014.

Quebec’s next election is set for October 2018 but there have been recent rumours at the national assembly Couillard might be tempted to call an early vote.

But the premier told reporters while on an economic mission to Israel there is nothing to justify an early election just more than three years after he took office in April 2014.

Couillard’s Liberals have a majority of the 125 seats in the legislature.

“I’m not thinking of that at all,” he said of the possibility of a snap election.

The Opposition Parti Quebecois failed on the weekend to secure an electoral alliance with the left-wing Quebec solidaire that was aimed at beating the Liberals in the election.

But Couillard said he does not want to take advantage of a situation that appears to favour his party.

“It would be political opportunism,” he said.

“If I called an election now, I would rightly be accused of trying to cash in on the difficulties of my opponents.”

Couillard also ruled out the possibility of a cabinet shuffle in the near future.

“It won’t be this week, next week or next month.”

The premier has not conducted a major cabinet shuffle since being elected.

The Canadian Press

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