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Jean Charest has announced that he will not be running in the Conservative leadership contest after weeks of speculation.
His announcement, however, has caused a great deal of confusion in the media, as the Quebec-based news publication La Presse first confirmed that Charest was running and then quickly delated it after more reports emerged minutes later contradicting this report.
Soon after this, the French-speaking arm of the CBC confirmed that Charest would not be running in a tweet, which the English anchor Rosemary Barton soon confirmed to the CBC’s English audience.
Much pressure has been placed on Charest by respected figures within the Conservative Party. Stephan Harper, for instance, reportedly resigned from the Tory’s fund board so that he could openly campaign against the former Quebec Liberal.
As well as this, MacKay and Charest were not intending to run against each other due to their long relationship in Conservative politics. MacKay, however, has consistently placed ahead of Charest in the polls, making any leadership attempt seemingly futile for the Quebecker.
What is notable about Charest’s decision, however, is that this may beckon in Vincenzo Guzzo’s leadership contest who previously stated to The Post Millennial that if Charest “doesn’t run I’ll run.”
Charest is currently under investigation for corruption during his time as premier. The investigation has been ongoing for six years, and so far, has not led to charges against anyone involved.
Jean Charest said in a statement that “After careful consideration, I will not be running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. I am grateful to all those who called me, sent supportive messages and mobilized for my potential candidacy.”
“On environmental issues, the CPC must offer Canadians a credible and ambitious plan in regard to the management of our natural resources and the fight against climate change. One does not exclude the other!”