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Gilles Duceppe rules out running for PQ in next Quebec election

Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe is shown in Montreal on April 17, 2011.

GRAHAM HUGHES/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe says he will not run in the next Quebec election.

Duceppe told The Canadian Press on Monday he won't seek a Parti Québécois nomination and hasn't been asked by the PQ if he would be interested.

"I don't have the intention of running in this election," the 66-year-old said in a telephone interview, adding he would have declined any offer if he had been asked.

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Speculation is swirling that Premier Pauline Marois is poised to call a provincial election in the days or weeks after her minority government tables its budget on Thursday.

Duceppe has been associated with the PQ in the past – usually as a potential leader.

He said he will contribute to the campaign through his column in a Montreal newspaper.

Duceppe said he hopes Marois will call another sovereignty referendum if the PQ forms a majority government.

"I would hope so," he said. "Of course, we won't be doing this lightly."

Marois has said she would like her government to produce a status update on Quebec's position in Canada before going to public consultations.

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