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Parti Québécois barred from sitting in legislature for refusing oath to King

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Parti Québécois barred from Quebec legislature after refusing oath to King
WATCH: The three elected MNA's representing the Parti Québécois were barred from entering the National Assembly's legislative chamber on Thursday.All because they refuse to pledge an oath of allegiance to the King. And though they'll likely be on the outside looking in until the new year, their idea is gaining traction. Global's Dan Spector reports – Dec 1, 2022

The three Parti Québécois (PQ) members who have steadfastly refused to swear the oath of office to King Charles III were barred from sitting in the province’s legislature Thursday.

The three-member PQ caucus attempted to sit in the Salon bleu at the national assembly in the morning, but were turned away.

To sit in the legislature, elected Quebec MNAs must take two oaths of loyalty: one to the Quebec people and another — as required by the Canadian Constitution — to the King.

In November, outgoing speaker François Paradis ruled that all elected members must take the oath to the King or risk expulsion from the legislature.

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PQ Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon has repeatedly called on newly appointed Speaker Nathalie Roy to reconsider her predecessor’s decision.

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Shortly after he was turned away, the PQ leader took to Twitter to say he had submitted to the Sargeant of Arms his official papers confirming his election to the legislature and his medal for swearing an oath of loyalty to the Quebec people.

“I’ll let the speaker consider it and exercise her discretion,” St-Pierre Plamondon wrote. “It’s time things change.”

Inside the legislature, Roy said the decision to forbid the PQ from entering was final and could not be appealed.

Since winning their seats in the Oct. 3 election, the three PQ MNAs have been taking a stand against what they describe as a “humiliating” oath to the King. Meanwhile, the 122 other members of the legislature have all taken the oath.

After he was denied sitting in the national assembly, St-Pierre Plamondon told reporters the oath is a reminder “that we never chose our political system.”

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“At some point, it has to stop and it has to change,” he said. “For that to happen, we need to persevere.”

Quebec Premier François Legault told reporters earlier Thursday that his government would table a motion next week to abolish the oath to the King. He said he doesn’t like participating in it either, but that legal advisors have informed his government a law is needed to avoid a challenge in court.

Politicians of all stripes appear to be on board. Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois argued the rules should be modernized, while Liberal MNA André Fortin said if he had a choice, he would only swear allegiance to the people of Quebec.

“I do not particularly hold the King in my heart,” Fortin said.

The legislature will break for the holidays Dec. 9.

with files from Global News’ Dan Spector and The Canadian Press

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