MONTREAL - Pauline Marois has recruited a Quebec environmental activist previously connected with the Green Party and the NDP to run for the Parti Quebecois in the next election.

Marois announced Friday morning to announce that Daniel Breton will be a "star candidate" for the PQ.

The PQ leader said Canada has become a "petrol state" and that Quebec needs to develop an energy policy in the "exact opposite direction."

"It's not about fossil fuels, it's about energy independence," she said. "Daniel Breton will help us get there."

Marois also vowed to stay on as party leader until the next election, amid rumours that former Bloc Quebecois head Gilles Duceppe was vying to replace her.

"I have a lot of support from party members," she said.

"And I want to continue to serve Quebec as leader of the Parti Quebecois."

Breton previously worked for the federal and provincial Green Party and also ran for the federal NDP.

His decision to join the PQ appears to be at odds with earlier statements he made about sovereignty.

Although he voted for Quebec secession in 1995, he told the Montreal Gazette in 2008 upon announcing he would run for the NDP that his priority had changed.

"For me, what is at stake in 2008 is not the sovereignty of Quebec but the sovereignty of Canada," he told the paper. "We are in the process of losing control over our natural resources, over our economy, of our big businesses and our political sovereignty."

Meanwhile Marois continued to deal with the swirling rumours that has Gilles Duceppe breathing down her neck as a possible replacement.

One analyst pointed out that Duceppe being back in the province from Ottawa changes the dynamics of provincial politics.

"The sovereignty movement is really without anchor in Quebec and Duceppe has been identified for a very long time with that soverignty movement as the voice of sovereigntists in Ottawa. Now that he's back in Quebec I think that what his flip flops are showing - is that there's also a restlessness and really search again for direction in the sovereignty movement itself," said political analyst Antonia Maioni.

"Pauline Marois is someone who is pretty tough. She's someone who has known she can make tough decisions," added Maioni. "The problem is maybe one of the toughest decisions she's going to have to make is about her own political future."