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Politics Former New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant to step down as Liberal leader

New Brunswick Liberal leader Brian Gallant answers questions from the media after meeting with Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau at Government House in Fredericton on Nov. 2, 2018.

James West/The Canadian Press

Former New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant will be stepping down as Liberal leader, and asking the party to organize a leadership convention.

The Canadian Press has learned from sources close to Gallant that he intends to remain as Opposition leader until the party chooses a new head.

An official announcement is expected Thursday.

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Gallant became leader in 2012, and premier in 2014 at the age of 32, but came up short in September’s provincial election.

Gallant’s minority government was toppled two weeks ago in a confidence vote on the throne speech, and Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs and his minority government were sworn-in last week.

On his last day in office, Gallant said if he was to quit as leader, he would remain as MLA for his riding of Shediac Bay-Dieppe.

Donald Wright, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick, says ideally the new Liberal leader will be someone from outside the party who can bring new ideas and new energy, and not be associated with the last four years.

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