05/13/2015 17:03 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 01:12 EDT

Voting begins in Parti Quebecois leadership race

MONTREAL - Voting has begun in the Parti Quebecois leadership race to find a permanent successor to Pauline Marois.Party members have until 5 p.m. eastern on Friday to vote for either Pierre Karl Peladeau, Alexandre Cloutier or Martine Ouellet.Peladeau, the controlling shareholder of Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B), is considered the front-runner.Cloutier and Ouellet served in cabinet until the PQ lost the provincial election in April 2014.If nobody gets 50 per cent of the ballots on Friday, a second round of voting featuring the top two finishers will be held next week.Three other candidates pulled out of the contest in recent months for either financial or competitive reasons.