Michel Samson said Friday he won't run for the leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party. ((CBC))

Michel Samson, the acting leader of Nova Scotia's Liberals, says he doesn't want to make the job permanent.

Samson confirmed Friday he won'trun for the party leadership in April, sayingleading the third-party Liberalswould be too much of atime commitment.

"Our party, while we've made great strides, still finds itself in a very challenging position and will require a tremendous amount of work in order to put it back where we all want to see it," Samson said.

"For me, at this time, I just don't feel I was prepared to undertake thatresponsibility."

The 34-year-old MLA for Richmond said he's still young and may decide to run in the future.

The Liberals gottheir firstleadership candidate on Wednesday, when Colchester County Mayor Mike Smith launched his campaign.

The list of possible contenders includes Annapolis MLA Stephen McNeil and Halifax-Clayton Park MLA Diana Whalen. Shortly after Samson's announcement, they toldreporters they'restill thinking it over.

Samson was named interim leader in June, when Francis MacKenzie stepped down following the provincial election. He will remain at the helm until the leadership convention in Dartmouth this April.

The once-mightyLiberals were relegated tothird-party status for the first time ever in 1999. The party hasstayed in that positionthroughtwo provincial elections.

The Liberals hold nine of the 52 seats in the legislature.