Montreal's new mayor will soon be known
It's all over but the voting.
Sixty-four Montreal city councillors vote Friday to choose the next mayor of Montreal to replace Gerald Tremblay, who quit on November 5th.
The battle is between Richard Deschamps, the candidate put forth by Union Montreal, Tremblay's former party and Michael Applebaum, who is running as an independent.
Applebaum was, until last week, the chairman of Montreal's executive committee. He quit his post on Friday and then left the Union Montreal party itself on Wednesday.
Applebaum said this week he believed the mayor should be independent and the executive committee should be a coalition including all three parties.
No one else stepped up to the plate and so on Wednesday, Applebaum announced he would run.
Then, the hemorrhaging began.
On Wednesday, 7 Union Montreal candidates quit the party, most to support Applebaum. On Thursday, another 4 candidates quit, including Marvin Rotrand, the former council majority leader.
"He happens to be the right person in the right place." Rotrand told CJAD. "It's not because he's my protege, not because he's a friend for 20 years. I'm willing to disagree with friends, but on this I have to do what I think is best for all the citizens and for the institution."
With all the defections from Union Montreal, the party that has run Montreal for more than a decade has lost its majority in city council.
But just who will win Friday's vote for interim mayor is not clear.
The opposition parties didn't field candidates for Friday's vote, but neither did they say which of the two candidates they would support.
If Applebaum wins, he would become the first anglophone mayor Montreal has seen since James John Guerin 1912.