LA PRESSE, CBC (Canada), BBC NEWS, THE GUARDIAN (UK), CNN (USA)
MONTREAL – A gunman opened fire during a midnight victory rally for Quebec’s first female premier-elect Pauline Marois, killing one person and critically wounding another, reports CNN.
The shooting cast a shadow over preliminary results indicating that the separatist Parti Quebecois was set to form a minority government after spending nine years in opposition, reports BBC News.
La Presse reports that the premier-elect was whisked off the stage by security guards, before returning to the stage to thank her supporters and ask the crowd to calmly evacuate the venue.
A 45-year-old man was fatally shot, and a 30-year-old man was in critical condition, reports The Guardian. A third man was treated in hospital for nervous shock.
The suspect is believed to be a 50-year-old man who appeared to be wearing a black ski or balaclava mask and a blue bathrobe over black clothes.
As the gunman was led away by the police, reports say he shouted in French: "The English are waking up! It’s gonna be fucking payback."
— Steve Paikin (@spaikin) Septembre 5, 2012
Ms Marois, 63, is now set to become the first female Premier of the province of Quebec.
The secessionist PQ won 54 of the province's 125 seats with 31.9 percent of the vote.
The election was called after a student strike over university tuition fee hikes and the Liberal government’s crackdown on student protesters caused unrest across the province, writes The Guardian. Marois has promised a tuition freeze until a summit on higher education financing is held.
It is unclear if the newly elected premier will request a new referendum on the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada.
During her victory speech, Marois said that the right of Anglophone Quebecers would be respected, CBC reported.
"We share the same history, and I want us to shape together our future," she said in English.