Members of the Quebec Liberal Party are holding a meeting of their special general council today in Laval to ratify rules for their leadership race.

A new leader will be elected March 17 to replace Jean Charest, who announced his resignation as Liberal chief on Sept. 5, the day after the party went down to defeat in the provincial election.

Potential candidates have until Dec. 14 to enter the contest.

The party's executive committee has drafted terms for the race that delegates to the special general council are voting on. They include:

  • A deposit of $50,000 from each candidate
  • A spending limit of $600,000 per candidate
  • A donation limit of $1,000
  • Nomination papers must be signed by at least 500 party members from at least 50 provincial ridings

So far, former health minister Philippe Couillard, former finance minister Raymond Bachand, former transport minister Pierre Moreau and Jean David, onetime head of the party's policy commission, have entered the race.