Bloc Quebecois Leader Daniel Paille steps down because he has epilepsy
Published Monday, December 16, 2013 10:27AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 16, 2013 3:21PM EST
MONTREAL -- Daniel Paille's two-year stint as Bloc Quebecois leader ended Monday when he announced his resignation because he has epilepsy.
"I am leaving for health reasons," Paille told a news conference in Montreal.
"I have been having health problems for the last few months and it turns out it is epilepsy."
Paille, 63, said he can no longer withstand the pace required to head a political party.
"Why now? Leading a political party requires that one must be in exceptional shape and have incredible endurance . . . I'm passing the torch. In the circumstances, this is the best time for the party."
Paille has been Bloc leader since December 2011 when he replaced Gilles Duceppe. The Bloc has only four of the province's 75 Commons seats.
Paille was elected as an MP in a byelection in 2009 before being defeated in the 2011 general election.
He previously served as Quebec industry minister in the mid-1990s under the Parti Quebecois.