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Rock pulls out of leadership race


Allison Dunfield
14 January 2003


OTTAWA - Industry Minister Allan Rock announced Tuesday he will not seek the leadership of the federal Liberals, saying he feels he does not have the "elements in place" to ensure a win against Paul Martin.

"I've wanted to run to compete to win, not to run to place second," Mr. Rock told a news conference in Ottawa. "This decision has frankly not been easy."

He will, however, stay on as a cabinet minister and an MP and plans to run again in the next federal election.

"I do know that I want to remain in Parliament," he told reporters. "I want to remain part of the process."

The Industry Minister, who had been second in the running to Mr. Martin, would not rule out whether he would seek to become Prime Minister at a later date. But he said that now is not the best time for him to do so.

In a statement, Mr. Martin said he respected Mr. Rock's decision.

"I offered my best wishes to Allan and his family and indicated my understanding and respect for his decision. I also indicated my enthusiasm for his decision to continue to make a contribution in public life as a member of the government."

Akaash Maharaj, National Policy Chair and candidate for president of the Liberal Party of Canada, said in a statement that all Liberals would regret Mr. Rock's decision not to run.

"He would have helped keep the leadership race centred on ideas and ideals; he would have raised the bar in the debate of public policy; and he would have championed a progressive and activist vision of government."

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