10/07/2015 12:13 EDT | Updated 10/07/2016 05:12 EDT

Quebec Premier Calls Provincial Byelections During Federal Campaign

Coalition for Quebec's Future leader says Philippe Couillard could have waited until after the Oct. 19 federal election.

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Philippe Couillard, Quebec's premier, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. Quebec's April election brought Couillard's Liberal Party to power with promises to cut spending, increase taxes and impose a hiring freeze to eliminate a C$3.1 billion deficit by next year. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

QUEBEC — Premier Philippe Couillard is being accused of trying to confuse voters by preparing to call byelections in the final weeks of the federal election campaign.

The leader of the Coalition for Quebec's Future says Couillard could have waited until after the Oct. 19 federal election to trigger four byelections.

An announcement on the date is expected later today, with Nov. 9 considered the likeliest choice.

Coalition Leader Francois Legault notes the law allows up to six months to fill the legislature vacancies and criticized the decision to move forward immediately.

The Coalition says it will wait until after the federal election to put up its signs, but there are reports the Liberals have already started doing so in the Montreal riding of Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne.

Legault says Couillard is sowing the seeds of confusion.

"There will be five signs from the federal parties, four from the provincial parties and everyone will be confused, but Philippe Couillard is saying: so much the better if everyone is mixed up," Legault said. "What cynicism on the part of Philippe Couillard."


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