Ralliement pour Montréal leader bows out of municipal elections weeks after party merger

In this Sept. 30, 2021 file photo Marc-Anotine Desjardins (left), and Balarama Holness (right) shake hands after announcing they are joining forces ahead of the municipal election on Nov. 7, 2021. Phil Carpenter/Global News

Elections Montréal, responsible for organizing the city’s municipal election, announced Tuesday afternoon that Marc-Antoine Desjardins has withdrawn his candidacy for mayor in the borough of Outremont.

The news comes nearly three weeks after the former leader of Ralliement pour Montréal joined forces with Mouvement Montréal’s Balarama Holness.

At the time, the pair said they believed combining resources would make the new alliance a stronger third option to Valérie Plante’s Projet Montréal and Denis Coderre’s Ensemble Montréal.

Click to play video: 'Holness, Desjardins team up to run against Plante and Coderre' Holness, Desjardins team up to run against Plante and Coderre
Holness, Desjardins team up to run against Plante and Coderre – Sep 30, 2021

Under the partnership, Desjardins was named acting co-leader of the new party. He threw his support behind Holness for Mayor of Montreal, withdrawing his own candidacy and agreeing instead to run as a borough mayor under the Mouvement Montréal banner.

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In a Facebook post Tuesday, however, Desjardins confirmed he would not be running in Outremont and said he was “totally disassociating himself from the Mouvement Montréal party, its leader and remarks he made on Oct. 12, 2021.”

While Desjardins didn’t elaborate on the remarks in question, Holness did announce his intention on Oct. 12 to hold a referendum on the status of Montreal as a bilingual city.

Prior to the merger, Ralliement pour Montréal’s platform included as a key tenent the protection of the French language. The party’s website was taken down following the merger.

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Desjardins suggested Lili-Anne Tremblay, who is running for borough mayor in St-Leonard, would be an excellent replacement as co-leader of the merged party.

“She’s a seasoned politician, a woman of action who only wants the best for her fellow citizens.”

In French, Desjardins wrote that he would not be commenting further until the end of the municipal campaign.

Read more: Plante criticizes Coderre for standing by controversial candidates

He wished the candidates good luck and thanked Montrealers for their support.

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He signed off his post as leader of Ralliement pour Montréal.

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