POLITICS

Quebec Election 2012 Results From Montreal: Live Coverage

08/31/2012 05:23 EDT | Updated 09/05/2012 09:46 EDT
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UPDATE: PQ Leader Pauline Marois was rushed off stage during her victory speech Tuesday night after shots were fired.

Montreal police tweeted that one person was killed and another critically injured when a 50-year-old man opened fire at Montreal's Metropolis concert hall where Marois was making her speech. The man has been arrested, according to police.

MONTREAL — A celebration of the Parti Quebecois' return to power was shattered Tuesday — first by a political disappointment, then by a stunning tragedy.

The party won a minority government with a weaker-than-desired result, of 54 seats won out of 125, that could severely limit its ability to pursue its independence agenda.

A victory speech by premier-in-waiting Pauline Marois was then marred by an exceptionally ugly scene: she was whisked off the stage by guards during an attack in which two people were shot, one was killed, and a fire was set behind the hall where she spoke.

Police tackled a masked, housecoat-wearing suspect to the ground and took him away in a patrol car. The two people shot were originally listed in critical condition, and one was later pronounced dead. Televised images showed a long gun being confiscated.

The middle-aged suspect, while being dragged toward the police cruiser, shouted in French, "The English are waking up!''

Police told reporters early Wednesday the suspect is 62 but did not reveal his name. Police also said the second shooting victim, who was taken to hospital in critical condition, was no longer in danger.

Police said two weapons had been seized at the scene and because an incendiary device was used, four or five families in the immediate area had been evacuated as police searched for any other possible devices.

It was certainly the most tragic, and least jubilant, election win in the PQ's long history.

Even before the attack there was some frustration at the Metropolis club, where the partisan PQ crowd had assembled. The party has never governed with a minority in its history and, therefore, has never needed to seek the support of other parties to table a referendum question, an inaugural speech, or any other confidence measure.

The PQ's score in the popular vote was lower than any time it has ever governed, with just 32 per cent. That was just one percentage point more than the governing Liberals, who staved off the electoral annihilation many had predicted. The new Coalition party had 27 per cent.

The attack then took place, ironically, just after Marois delivered a conciliatory message in English — a rare occurrence at a partisan PQ event.

Read the full story here.

With files from the Canadian Press

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