The next Parti Québécois leader will be chosen in May, with candidates who want to take the helm of the separatist party having until Jan. 30 to throw their hat in the ring.

To run, they will be required to put up $20,000 and have the signatures of at least 2,000 supporters.

They will also have a spending cap of $400,000. 

Details of the leadership race were unveiled at a PQ meeting in Sherbrooke, Que., on Saturday.

Stéphane Bédard has been interim PQ leader since shortly after the resignation of Pauline Marois following last April's provincial election.

While there are no official candidates so far, the front-runner is believed to be Pierre Karl Péladeau, the controlling shareholder of media corporation Québecor.

The media magnate rejected a demand from potential leadership rival Jean-François Lisée on Saturday to sell his stake in Québecor if he runs for the leadership.

"I have no intention of selling the shares that were bequeathed to me by father, who helped build Quebec as it is now," said Péladeau, who did not say whether he would re-evaluate his position if he becomes PQ leader in seven months.

Lisée said Péladeau would put the PQ in a position of "incredible vulnerability" vis-à-vis its political opponents if he kept his Québecor stake.

The company is omnipresent in Quebec, with its properties including the TVA television network, Le Journal de Montreal, weekly newspapers and celebrity-driven magazines.

The PQ leadership vote will take place May 13-15. If required, a second round vote will take place May 20-22. 

The race officially begins Oct. 14.

With files from CBC News