The future leader of the Quebec Liberal Party will be chosen in the spring of 2020.
The leadership race will begin this fall and will be framed by strict rules that were announced on Sunday at the party’s annual convention in Drummondville, Que.
No member has officially declared they will be running, however, rumours have been swirling for months.
On Sunday, MNA for Jean-Talon Sebastien Proulx had a change of heart and said he would consider running for the party’s top job. He was heavily courted by party members to which he said he was “touched” but added he would have to “listen to his inner voice.”
“It’s important I reflect on it,” Proulx told reporters at the convention. “What is good for me, for my family and the party.”
Over the weekend, several other prominent party figures didn’t discard the idea of running, including former Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette.
“Maybe someone will knock on my door and I may open it. It’s not my style to parade myself,” Barrette said on Saturday.
In the past, the province’s former minister of economic development, innovation and export trade, Dominique Anglade, has also expressed interest in the position as well as party newcomer and MNA for Saint-Laurent, Marwah Rizqy.
In order for a candidate to run, they would have to abide by strict rules that were laid out on Sunday by the Quebec Liberal Party’s election president, Rafael Ferraro.
Among those rules: candidates will have to gather at least 750 signatures of which 250 need to be new members. The signatures must come from at least 70 different ridings and 12 regions.
WATCH: Dominique Anglade ‘could be interested’ in running for Quebec Liberal leadership (December 2018)
The party is giving candidates a limit of $500,000 to spend on their campaign. The entry fee is set at $60,000.
In order to be elected as leader of the party, the candidate will have to win with over 50 per cent of the totality of points accumulated across the 125 ridings.
It’s estimated four debates will take place: two in the east of Quebec, two in the west; one of the debates will be in English.
The party has been helmed by Mont-Royal-Outremont MNA Pierre Arcand on an interim basis since October.
Quebec’s Liberals suffered a crushing defeat against the Coalition Avenir Québec, becoming the province’s official opposition with only 29 out of 125 seats at Quebec’s national assembly.
— With files from La Presse Canadienne