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Riding association wants explanation for why Quebec Liberal MP was denied candidacy

OTTAWA — The departure of a Quebec Liberal MP who announced she would not seek a second term this week was forced by the party, the local riding association president says.

Eva Nassif announced in a statement Thursday she would not seek a re-election in the riding of Vimy, north of Montreal.

Riding president Giuseppe Margiotta told The Canadian Press that Nassif was pushed out without any reason given and he says the entire executive in the riding was “stunned” with recent developments.

On Thursday, eight days after assuring she would be nominated as the candidate in the Laval, Que., riding for the Liberals, the MP published a letter on social media saying she would not seek re-election on the Oct. 21 federal vote, citing “recent events of a personal nature” as a motivating factor.

Margiotta blames the Liberal Party of Canada for leaving his local riding association “in the dark”, noting that an email sent to party officials asking why Nassif’s candidacy was delayed went unanswered.

Last week, Liberal sources said that Nassif was failing to meet her party’s requirements as an incumbent to secure a nomination.

To confirm their candidacy, an incumbent must meet certain criteria: knocked on at least 3,500 doors or made 5,000 telephone calls, obtained the signatures of 150 Liberals in their riding and add 30 new monthly contributors.

Margiotta assured Nassif that her association met those requirements, adding the association has more money in its coffers than the party required.

The executive remains in place until mid-October and it will be up to Margiotta and others to work with a new candidate.

Margiotta says he’s open to that, but wants explanations from the party about what happened.

Lina Dib, The Canadian Press