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Mulcair expresses interest in replacing Jack Layton as NDP leader

NDP deputy leader Thomas Mulcair says he is thinking of running to succeed Jack Layton who died last week.

The Montreal MP joins party president Brian Topp in expressing interest in becoming leader of the official Opposition.

Mulcair told a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday that he has received a lot of support from colleagues.

The 56-year-old is fluently bilingual, which could give him a leg up on potential opponents.

The former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister was first elected federally in a by-election in 2007 and was the NDP’s sole elected MP in the province until the party’s major breakthrough last May.

Ottawa MP Paul Dewar has also left his name on the list of possible contenders. Some people have also been speculating that Layton’s wife, Olivia Chow, could take the NDP’s top job.

The party’s federal council meets on Sept. 9 to set the rules for the leadership race.