ST-EUSTACHE, Que. – Premier Jean Charest says he can’t believe his rivals could be so low as to show him getting his head chopped off in a cartoon posted on Facebook.
The image was shared on the social networking site by Mariette Fugere, wife of Parti Quebecois candidate Serge Cardin.
Cardin, a former Bloc Quebecois MP, is running against Charest in his home riding of Sherbrooke.
Charest wasn’t amused.
“I didn’t think the PQ could sink so low,” Charest said Friday while campaigning in St-Eustache. “I’d be interested in hearing the reaction of Madame Marois.”
The image shows a prone figure resembling Charest lying under the blade of a guillotine as a ballot-shaped blade is dropped on his neck.
The words “End of the regime” highlight the drawing which is done in red and black.
“This is my hope,” Fugere wrote in a post accompanying the cartoon, which originated with someone else.
Sebastien Aube, the campaign manager for Cardin, says Fugere found the cartoon “amusing” when she glanced at it on her Facebook feed but deleted it moments later when it struck her as odd.
“She explained things and offered her apologies to anyone who found the cartoon offensive,” Aube said.
Jean Perreault, the head of Charest’s campaign and a former Sherbrooke mayor, criticized the circulation of “this drawing in very bad taste.”
He said it deserved to be “firmly and unequivocally denounced.”
Perreault said “it showed a lack of judgment” on the part of a public figure and demanded a public apology.
It’s not the first time Charest has been shown in a deadly situation.
In June, Quebec solidaire co-spokesman Amir Khadir came under fire after police found a parody leaflet in his home showing Charest dead at his feet. Police were in his home to arrest his daughter in connection with some alleged illegal acts during student protests.
The leaflet, a promotional item for a band, was a parody of an 1830 painting depicting a scene from the French revolution.
The altered image showed Khadir as a gun-toting revolutionary standing over the premier.
Khadir said at the time all he wanted was to see Charest lose the election.