Olivia Chow Rules Out NDP Leadership Bid

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Olivia Chow reacts as the hearse carrying the coffin of her husband, the late NDP leader Jack Layton, arrives for his state funeral at Roy Thomson Hall, in Toronto on Saturday, August 27, 2011. | CP

TORONTO — New Democrat MP Olivia Chow says she won't be a candidate to succeed her late husband Jack Layton.

In an interview with the CBC Sunday night, Chow says she'll continue her duties in the House of Commons and will fight for things like increased public transit.

But the Toronto MP says the party's leadership is not for her.

Layton died last month after a fight with cancer and Chow's name has been mentioned by some as a potential candidate in a leadership race that will likely be held sometime next year.

Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair and party strategist Brian Topp are among several contenders who have expressed interest in the party's top job.

UPDATE: Read more on Chow's grief, Layton's last days and why they didn't disclose more about the new cancer.

In closing the door to a bid for the party's top job, Chow also said she would not accept a draft movement.

``We have a lot of capable people that can be leader, that's not my role,'' she said in an interview with CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge, a segment of which was broadcast Sunday night.

Chow, who had a high-profile at her husband's side at the party's helm, is not fluent in French.

It was the first time Chow has spoken publicly since Layton's funeral.

In a video tribute broadcast at the Toronto service last month Chow had urged mourners to work together to make sure Layton's voice isn't silenced.

Other would-be leadership candidates who are kicking the tires include Ottawa MP Paul Dewar, B.C.'s Peter Julian, Manitoba's Pat Martin and Nova Scotia's Robert Chisholm and Megan Leslie.

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