Gilles Duceppe Steps Down

Gilles Duceppe, the Bloc Quebecois’ first-ever MP and the man who dominated the party for nearly 15 years, stepped down as leader Thursday after a less than stellar performance in this week’s election.

Duceppe’s departure comes four months into his second spell as head of the sovereigntist party following a 14-year stint between 1997 and 2011.

“I am turning the page, the last page, of a passionate political adventure,” he said at party headquarters.

The Bloc won 10 out of Quebec’s 78 ridings on Monday, leaving it two short of the 12 seats required for official party status.

Compounding its woes was another double whammy — Duceppe losing his Montreal riding for the second election in a row and the party garnering just 19.3 per cent of the popular vote in Quebec.