Marois, Pauline (pōlēnˈ märwäˈ) [key], 1949–, Canadian politician, b. Quebec. A social worker and Parti Québécois (PQ) member, she was first elected to the Quebec National Assembly in 1981, and served in ministerial positions under Premier Lévesque. After losing a PQ leadership campaign and her assembly seat in 1985, she was reelected beginning in 1989 and served in several ministerial positions under premiers Parizeau and Bouchard. She became deputy premier under Bernard Landry in 2001. After losing the PQ leadership contest in 2005, she left politics in 2006, but became party leader following PQ losses in 2007. In 2012 the PQ won a plurality and she succeeded Jean Charest to become the province's first female premier; a gunman killed one person and wounded another at her victory speech in a possible assassination attempt. Although a proponent of Quebec sovereignty, Marois has deemphasized holding an independence referendum.