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Premier Kathy Dunderdale speaking with reports in January. ((CBC))

The province's Progressive Conservative Party is planning to hold a splashy convention to officially crown Premier Kathy Dunderdale as its leader.

"We will have a lot hoopla and a lot of support for Kathy, and we'll certainly make sure that she'd be welcomed with open arms and understands the level of support and confidence that we have in her as our leader," said PC cabinet minister and co-chair of the leadership convention Sean Skinner.

The party hasn't set a date for the convention, but Skinner said Thursday that it is looking at late March or early April.

Dunderdale was challenged by leadership hopeful Brad Cabana but the party has twice rejected his nomination, saying he didn't meet the requirements. 

Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador took a twist in late December when Kathy Dunderdale, who became interim premier almost four weeks ago, said she wanted the job for good.

Dunderdale, former premier Danny Williams's choice to serve as interim premier when he retired Dec. 3, initially said she was not interested in leading the governing Progressive Conservatives into the scheduled October 2011 election.

Dunderdale became the first woman to lead Newfoundland and Labrador when she was sworn in Dec. 3. All three of the parties represented in the house of assembly now have women as leaders.