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Pierre Karl Péladeau quits PQ leadership, politics

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WATCH ABOVE: Fighting back tears, Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau, announced he is quitting politics. As Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, he said he made the "agonizing decision" for his children – May 2, 2016

QUEBEC CITY – Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau, 54, has quit politics.

READ MORE: Parti Québécois member says caucus needs to show support for Péladeau

The media mogul, who entered politics during the last provincial election under then-Premier Pauline Marois, said at a press conference in Montreal Monday he was quitting for family reasons.

Looking sombre, Péladeau said he had to choose between his family and his political life.

“I chose my family,” he said in French.

“I am immediately quitting as Parti Québécois leader, the official opposition, and as the representative of Saint-Jérôme.”

Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau reacts during a news conference in Montreal, Monday, May 2, 2016, where he announced he is quitting politics for family reasons.
Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau reacts during a news conference in Montreal, Monday, May 2, 2016, where he announced he is quitting politics for family reasons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Péladeau called the decision agonizing, and appeared to be fighting back tears as he made the announcement.

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“I am making this decision for the well-being of my children,” he said.

“I must remain an example to them.”

He took no questions.

WATCH BELOW: Pierre Karl Péladeau’s time as leader of the Parti Québécois

After being elected, Péladeau was hailed by many as the saviour of Quebec’s sovereigntist movement.

READ MORE: Opposition surprised Quebec Liberals still lead in public support

In a recent CROP poll, support for the PQ dropped four percentage points since March, with 26 per cent of those asked saying they would vote for the separatist party.

READ MORE: Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau says Quebecor shares put in trust

In the party’s leadership race to succeed Marois last May, Péladeau was easily elected with 57.6 per cent of the vote.

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