Charest leaves, Goguen asks for re­count in Saint-françois

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Staff, Sher­brooke

It was one of the tight­est elec­tions ever run in Quebec, the Parti Québé­cois got elected by some of the tini­est ma­jori­ties, so it doesn’t come as a sur­prise that, with a lit­tle more than a one hun­dred vote dif­fer­ence for the Lib­eral can­di­date, Nathalie Goguen, who was de­feated by the PQ’s Dr. Ré­jean Hébert, be­lieves that spend­ing $5,000 to get to the bot­tom of things is worth the money. This is the cost of ask­ing for a re­count of an elec­tion.

“As it seems that a mis­take was made dur­ing the ini­tial count, that the re­sults are very close and tak­ing into ac­count the high num­ber (575) of re­jected bal­lots, it is in the in­ter­est of democ­racy and of the cit­i­zens of Saint-François that the fi­nal re­sult re­flect as ac­cu­rately as pos­si­ble the wishes of the cit­i­zens

who voted on Septem­ber 4th,” said Mrs. Goguen in a press re­lease pub­lished on the Lib­eral Party web­site on Mon­day.

Yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, Judge Claude Chicoine granted her wish and ac­cepted the mo­tion pre­sented by her lawyer on Mon­day. In his de­ci­sion, made on the Bench, the judge said that this was the best way to in­sure that the demo­cratic wish of the peo­ple be truly re­spected. The PQ ob­jected that there were few cases in Quebec when a ju­di­cial re­count had changed the re­sult of an elec­tion. It was a first for the rid­ing, the most re­counts hav­ing been held in Sh­ef­ford. In one of them, in Saint-Jean, the re­sult was a draw and a new elec­tion was held. The re­count is set to be­gin on Thurs­day and the judge said that it could well continue un­til Satur­day.

While the mo­tion re­garded only one con­tentious bal­lot box, num­ber 168, where a dis­crep­ancy of ex­actly 50 votes was found, all boxes and all bal­lots will now be counted in front of Judge Chicoine.

Premier Charest did not have the lux­ury of ask­ing for a re­count and he took the high road, re­sign­ing, even if the de­feat of the Lib­er­als is in fact a vic­tory; the party, ac­cord­ing to most, be­ing des­tined to a foot­note of his­tory. As Wil­liam Hogg, the peren­ni­ally de­feated fed­eral can­di­date told the Stanstead Jour­nal: “The English voted this time.”

Mr. Charest is des­tined to join one of the lawyers firms, in Montreal, who are al­ready sali­vat­ing at the prospect of hav­ing him in their of­fice. It is ru­mored that he would be guar­an­teed al­most two mil­lion dol­lars a year. His in­ter­na­tional ex­per­tise is well known and he would fit well in a cou­ple of firms, some where se­nior part­ners are long-time friends like Marc-An­dré Blan­chard, of McCarthy Té­trault. The for­mer pres­i­dent of the Lib­eral Party is a per­sonal friend of the for­mer premier.

For­mer Premier Jean Charest is leav­ing pol­i­tics while other Lib­er­als, such as Nathalie Goguen, seen here, are still fight­ing for a seat.

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