Reversing their earlier decision.
By Tu Thanh Ha, Ingrid Peritz, and Bertrand Marotte in the Globe and Mail, with thanks to Doc Washburn:
TROIS-RIVIÃˆRES, QUE., MONTREAL and SAINT-EUSTACHE, QUE. “” With three days left in one of the most tightly contested elections in decades, Quebec’s electoral officer yesterday reversed his decision to allow Muslim women to vote without having to lift their face veils to identify themselves.
Chief Electoral Officer Marcel Blanchet invoked emergency powers to change his mind on one of the controversial minority-rights issues that have roiled the campaign and led to death threats, public outrage and repeated criticism by Parti QuÃ©bÃ©cois Leader AndrÃ© Boisclair.
Mr. Blanchet said his office had been inundated with calls and emails about his decision to allow women to wear the niqab when they voted. His staff was worried and he was assigned two bodyguards. He feared some angry voters would turn out “in the craziest disguises you can imagine” and disrupt Monday’s election.
Mr. Blanchet said it was troubling that he had to reverse his position. “Personally, I would have preferred not to do it. But my concern is to ensure everything unfolds normally, and there won’t be somebody crazy who will cause trouble on Monday.”