Projet Montréal is on the lookout for a new leader.
Early Monday morning, the opposition party launched its leadership race, in order to determine who will face off against Mayor Denis Coderre in next year’s municipal election.
“Voters are looking for a different alternative and I think that Denis Coderre is offering the same old-style politician that we’ve seen for years and years and years,” Jimmy Zoubris, the party’s vice-president, said .
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The party admits defeating the Coderre administration won’t be easy, but they’re ultimately up for the task.
“We’re going to have candidates that are present in every borough, and well known in every borough,” Zoubris said. “So we’re ready to put up a fight with Denis Coderre and put our ideas forward and see what the population says.”
Projet Montréal has been without a permanent leader since its founder, Richard Bergeron, stepped down in 2014.
Luc Ferrandez, the party’s interim leader, has already said he won’t run for the top post, something he re-emphasized on Monday.
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“You want to be elected, not only on ideas, it’s on meeting people, it’s on being there, it’s on being popular,” he explained. “I don’t wish to be popular.”
In the 2013 election, the opposition party gathered 25 per cent of the vote – while Mélanie Joly came in second with 26 per cent and Équipe Coderre won by 32 per cent of the vote.
Ferrandez admits the mayor’s star power will be tough to beat, but says he’s confident Coderre’s popularity will eventually fade.
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“I’m not sure that it works being controversial issue after issue, the way Mr. Coderre is and still being popular at the end,” he said. “How long will he last? When this trend will tip down, Projet Montréal will be there.”
As of Monday, only Rosemont-la-Petite-Patrie city councillor, François Limoges, had entered the race.
Party officials expect more people to enter before the October deadline, from both inside and outside the party.
The leadership vote will take place in December.