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Parti Québécois, Québec Solidaire will get official party status after all

Quebec Solidaire's Manon Massé speaks to her supporters in Montreal after the Quebec election in the Quebec provincial election Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. Peter McCabe/The Canadian Press

After a whirlwind election, the province’s elected officials will get back to work next week — and two of Quebec’s smaller parties have been granted official party status.

The Parti Québécois and Québec Solidaire reached an agreement Thursday night with the governing Coalition Avenir Québec following a round of negotiations.

“The CAQ’s aim is to ensure that all members of all political parties have the tools to fulfil their function,” said CAQ parliamentary leader Simon Jolin-Barrette on Twitter.

READ MORE: CAQ government could soon change the way Quebec votes

The deal will see them awarded official party status — even though both sovereignist parties have only 10 seats each in the National Assembly. In Quebec, parties require 12 seats or 20 per cent of the popular vote in order to have official status.

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Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson and MNA Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois described it as a victory and an important moment for his party, which he says was long considered as a “small party” in the province’s political sphere.

“That’s officially no longer the case,” he said in a statement.

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He said it took several hours at the bargaining table, but that in the end, Quebecers want four parties to represent them at the National Assembly.

“It wasn’t my first negotiation but this was particularly delicate and complex,” he said.

Pascal Bérubé, the interim leader for the PQ, called the move a “promising agreement for parliamentarism.”

If the ruling CAQ government and the Quebec Liberals in official opposition had refused to grant the two smaller parties official status, the MNAs elected under those banners would have had to sit as Independents at the National Assembly.

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Quebec MNAs return to the National Assembly next Tuesday.

READ: Parti Québécois leaders meet in Montreal to discuss election loss

— With files from The Canadian Press

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