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Police in Quebec investigate ‘phantom’ political party

LAVAL, Que. — Police are keeping an eye on a political party in Laval, Que., that doesn’t exist anymore.

The provincial anti-corruption unit raided the offices today of Parti PRO des Lavallois, which has officially moved to dissolve itself.

The raid occurred one day after the long-dominant party filed a formal request for dissolution.

The party has run the city for decades, and for years it has held every seat on the municipal council. It is now being rocked by corruption allegations.

Gilles Vaillancourt recently resigned after 23 years as mayor, and two members of his now-extinct party are competing to replace him in a vote at council.

The raid today was the latest of many in the city, where Vaillancourt has been accused of taking kickbacks from construction companies.

He denies the allegation.

Next-door Montreal has also seen its mayor step down but in that city the former mayor, Gerald Tremblay, is accused of turning a blind eye to corruption — not of receiving money himself.

In Laval, all 20 councillors are now sitting as independents. They will vote by secret ballot for a replacement mayor. The two candidates are councillors Alexandre Duplessis and Jacques Saint-Jean.

 
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