02/17/2014 05:33 EST | Updated 04/19/2014 05:59 EDT

Gilles Duceppe Won't Run For Parti Quebecois In Provincial Election

AFP via Getty Images
Montreal, CANADA: Gilles Duceppe, head of the Bloc Quebecois political party in Quebec, waves after voting early 23 January 2006 in Montreal in the Canadian federal election. Canadians appeared headed for a new era of right-wing rule, voting in an election tipped to end the Liberal Party's 12-year reign and produce a Conservative-led minority government. Stephen Harper, the 46-year-old Conservative leader, is pledging to flush away political scandals tainting Prime Minister Paul Martin's centrist Liberals and mend strained relations with the United States. AFP PHOTO/Steeve DUGUAY (Photo credit should read STEEVE DUGUAY/AFP/Getty Images)

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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