Maher Arar's wife announces NDP candidacy

Monia Mazigh, the wife of Maher Arar, says she will seek the nomination to run as the federal NDP candidate for Ottawa South.

Monia Mazigh, who led a year-long campaign to have her husband released from a Syrian prison, announced Wednesday she will try for a seat in Parliament in the next federal election.

Mazigh is married to Maher Arar, the Canadian who was deported to Syria by U.S. officials on suspicion of being connected to al-Qaeda.

NDP Leader Jack Layton joined Mazigh as she announced she will seek the NDP nomination in the riding of Ottawa South.

"I didn't choose to be a public figure, but when [the imprisonment] happened and when I came to be known, I think it is one of my personal duties, as a Canadian, to do something to help people around me," Mazigh said.

The riding was held by former finance minister and deputy prime minister John Manley who decided to leave politics when his term ends. David McGuinty, the brother of the premier of Ontario, recently won the nomination as Liberal candidate for the riding.

Last month, Layton cancelled a planned news conference to announce Mazigh's candidacy because she had not decided if she would run.

Mazigh said at the time that she was listening to offers from the federal Liberals and the New Democrats.

Mazigh has a PhD in economics, but no political experience.

She lives with her husband and two children in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean.

The federal government is preparing to launch a judicial inquiry into her husband's case.