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Former Montreal mayor hasn't ruled out running for Quebec Liberal leadership

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It seems former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre hasn't ruled out running for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ).

"Aren't you fed up [of seeing me] as a public figure?" he joked during an interview with political commentator David Heurtel on CJAD 800. "We have a generation gap."

In his radio column on French-language station CKVL in Montreal on Wednesday, though, Coderre said he was "serious" in considering a bid.

He said he'll make a final decision this spring.

The 60-year-old, who has worked as an elected official on both the municipal and federal levels, acknowledges that he does have a lot of political experience -- even offering some commentary on the current provincial government.

"The problem with [Premier François] Legault right now? He feels too comfortable. He's too strong and he feels alone," he said. "That's the reason why when you have a crisis, you don't know what to do with it."

He advises Legault, over the next two years of his mandate, to try not to reinvent the wheel.

"You need to talk to people, you need one or two or three issues that you have to fight," said Coderre, adding Legault has a long way to go to mend relationships in the province.

"You never vote for a position. You vote against government," he said. "After two mandates, people are a bit tired."

During the interview, the former mayor did not rule out a potential run for the PLQ's top job, but he did stress he wants to take better care of his health after having a stroke last year.

"I've got to take care of myself. I've got to take care of my kids," he said.

Before serving as mayor of Montreal, Coderre was a federal cabinet minister with the Liberal Party of Canada. He represented the Montreal riding of Bourassa as an MP until 2013.

In 2021, Coderre officially stepped away from political life following his second defeat to Valérie Plante in the Montreal municipal election.

"Forty years of public life, 12 election campaigns, 16 years in Ottawa, [then as Montreal] mayor," he said at the time. "I gave 40 years of my life. I took time for me to reflect. It was pretty hard."

There has been little interest in the role to replace Dominique Anglade, who stepped down as Liberal leader following her electoral defeat a little more than a year ago. Marc Tanguay has served as interim leader since then.

Federal MP Joël Lightbound, who represents the Quebec City riding of Louis-Hébert, has not ruled out running.

The PLQ says it has no plans to choose a new leader until 2025.

LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: Mulcair: Denis Coderre could be the frontrunner for the provincial Liberals leadership 

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