Annamie Paul steps down as Green party leader

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OTTAWA—Annie Paul has announced that she will step down as leader of the Green Party, a week after she suffered a fourth-place finish in the long ride to Toronto Center and internally in the party’s upper ranks for the first time months later. There were reports of conflict.

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Paul lost Riding for the third time last Monday, raking in just over eight percent of Riding’s vote — a 32.7 percent drop he saw during a by-election in Riding Last Fall.

“I just asked myself if this is something I want to continue,” Paul told a news conference in Toronto on Monday morning.

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Paul is the first black man and Jewish woman to lead a major federal party in Canada.

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Granthshala first reported in April that he faced significant opposition in the first six months of his leadership from officials from the Greens’ federal council, the party’s top governing body.

In July, the beleaguered leader called the ensuing conflict one of the most “painful” moments of his life.

At the time, Paul said that he had thought “many times” about moving out.

“I think anyone in my position, who is in it for the right reasons, would have considered stepping down. It has been incredibly difficult and has taken quite a toll.”

While the Greens emerged from last week’s election with the party’s first MP in Ontario – Mike Morris ousting the Kitchener Center to former Liberal Raj Saini – the party also lost Paul Manley’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith seat to the NDP.

Former Green leader Elizabeth May once again won her seat in the Saanich-Gulf Islands, although she brought in her smallest share of the vote since riding for the first time in 2011.

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Raisa Patel is an Ottawa-based reporter who covers federal politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @R_SPatel
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