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Gilles Duceppe says he won't run for the PQ in the next Quebec election

Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe talks to the media after appearing before the Commons Board of Internal Economy on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Monday February 13, 2012. Duceppe says he will not run in the next Quebec election. He tells The Canadian Press he won't seek a Parti Quebecois nomination and hasn't been asked by the PQ if he would be interested.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

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Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe talks to the media after appearing before the Commons Board of Internal Economy on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Monday February 13, 2012. Duceppe says he will not run in the next Quebec election. He tells The Canadian Press he won't seek a Parti Quebecois nomination and hasn't been asked by the PQ if he would be interested.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

QUEBEC - Former Bloc Quebecois 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 Quebecois 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.

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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