Montreal legislator Ruba Ghazal first to enter Québec solidaire spokeswoman race

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QUEBEC — A Montreal member of Quebec's legislature is the first candidate to enter the race for co-spokesperson of the province's third-largest political party.

Ruba Ghazal, 45, who represents the central Montreal riding of Mercier, says she wants Québec solidaire to focus more on achieving independence for the province and protecting the French language.

The left-wing party, which has 12 seats in Quebec's national assembly, does not have a traditional leader but is instead represented by two co-spokespeople, one man and one woman.

Manon Massé, who has held the post alongside Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois since 2017, said Tuesday that she plans to step back from the leadership role, but will keep her seat in the legislature.

Ghazal, the daughter of Palestinian refugees, says she thinks an increased focus on sovereignty and protecting Quebec's language and culture will help the party gain votes outside of central Montreal, where its support has been concentrated.

Ghazal is currently the party's whip, as well as its critic on issues of education, culture, the French language and the status of women.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2023.

The Canadian Press