The outspoken sovereigntist writer and past premier adviser was formally introduced as a PQ candidate on Saturday morning, putting an end to weeks of rumours about his bid for office.
Addressing a packed room of PQ supporters, Lisée said he spent weeks mulling his decision.
"If I can contribute to the main collective task ahead of us — that is, getting rid of [Liberal Leader] Jean Charest — then I will do it," he said in his French-language speech.
Lisée called the Sept. 4 election call cynical and accused Charest of trying to prevent Quebecers from hearing more testimony at the Charbonneau Commission into corruption.
That's why it's important to pay attention to the campaign, he said: "If we had to decide to not take part in the political process — if we had to pass our turn and not get involved in this election — how will we feel if the party of cynicism rides to victory on Sept. 4?"
The PQ forms a "broad coalition" of Quebecers from different political points of view, united by the objective of sovereignty, Lisée said.
A long-time Péquiste, Lisée worked as an adviser to former premiers Lucien Bouchard and Jacques Parizeau. More recently he's written for Quebec news magazine l'Actualité.
Earlier this year Lisée authored a long article on the status of French in Montreal.
The magazine cover featured a frog holding up a sign that said "Içi, on parle English." He wrote that anglophones in Montreal don't care to speak French.
Lisée will run in Rosemont, a Montreal riding formerly held by former PQ cabinet minister Louise Beaudoin.