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Quebec separatist premier calls election


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MONTREAL (AP) — Quebec's premier has called an election in the hopes her pro-independence party can get a majority of seats in the provincial legislature.

Parti Quebecois Premier Pauline Marois dissolved the legislature Wednesday. She says she needs a majority to revive the province's economy. Voters in the French-speaking province will head to the polls on April 7.

The PQ's ultimate goal is to separate from Canada, but there's no guarantee the party will hold a referendum if it gets a majority. Marois has so far only promised to hold public hearings.

Health care and job creation are expected to be election issues. The PQ's controversial secular charter, which would ban public employees from wearing religious headgear, is also expected to be an issue.

The PQ has been in power since September 2012.

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BENJAMIN SHINGLER

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