The Liberal Party leadership vote will be held in April 2013, the party president says, with the precise date to be confirmed over the summer.


Mike Crawley's announcement, which was made on the Liberal Party blog, comes after interim leader Bob Rae said that he would not seek the position of permanent leader.


"We are now approaching a turning point for the Liberal Party of Canada," Crawley said in his blog post.


"Soon, we will reach the end of our initial period of rebuilding following last year's election result, and be entering a leadership contest we hope will inspire and engage tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of Canadians."


Rae became interim leader after Michael Ignatieff resigned following the May 2011 federal election that relegated the Liberals to third-party status in the House of Commons.


On Wednesday, Rae said he'd decided the best way for him to serve his party was by "not running for the permanent leadership and by simply sticking to the task which I agreed to do at the beginning of my mandate."


Montreal MP Justin Trudeau has repeatedly ruled out a leadership bid this time, citing the desire to spend time with his young children. But over the past month, his resolve has noticeably wavered as the pressure has mounted on him to change his mind.


Trudeau said Wednesday the pressure has been "enormous." He said Rae's decision to opt out means the party "will have less of a leadership race," but insisted it will have no bearing on whether he finally decides to take the plunge.


"My own [initial] decision … to not go was independent of what Bob decided to do," Trudeau said.


Liberal MPs Denis Coderre, Marc Garneau and Dominic LeBlanc all said Wednesday they have not ruled out entering the race to become the next party leader.


Related on HuffPost:

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  • Surprising Justin Trudeau Facts

    With talk of Trudeau making a bid for the Liberal leadership reaching a fever pitch (again), HuffPost takes a look at some surprising facts about Canada's perpetual PM-in-waiting. (CP)

  • 11. Politics On Mother's Side Too

    Trudeau's maternal grandfather <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Sinclair_(politician)" target="_hplink">James Sinclair</a> was a Liberal MP and cabinet minister in Louis St.-Laurent's government in the 1950s. (House of Commons) <em><strong>CORRECTION</strong>: An earlier version of this slide incorrectly said Sinclair was a Progressive Conservative MP.</em>

  • 10. Born In Office

    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Trudeau" target="_hplink">Trudeau was only the second child ever to be born while a parent was prime minister</a>. The first was John A. Macdonald's youngest daughter Margaret Mary Macdonald. Trudeau's younger brothers, Alexandre (Sacha) and Michel were the third and fourth. (CP)

  • 9. Educated Enough?

    Trudeau has a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill and a Bachelor of Education from UBC. He also studied engineering at the Université de Montréal and environmental geography at McGill, but never finished degrees in those fields.

  • 8. Enemies To Friends

    While fathers Brian Mulroney and Pierre Trudeau were rivals, sons Justin and Ben are friends. Mulroney attended Trudeau's wedding to Sophie Grégoire. Grégoire has worked as Quebec correspondent for CTV's eTalk, which is hosted by Mulroney. (CP)

  • 7. Let Them Eat Anything But Cake

    Trudeau didn't have cake at his wedding, with <a href="http://www.macleans.ca/canada/national/article.jsp?content=20050606_106678_106678" target="_hplink">Sophie arguing that people never eat it anyway</a>. (Shutterstock)

  • 6. Born On Christmas

    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Trudeau" target="_hplink">Trudeau entered the world on December 25, 1971</a>.

  • 5. Two Tattoos In One

    Trudeau has a large tattoo on his left shoulder. <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/justinpjtrudeau/statuses/179973685136998400" target="_hplink">The planet Earth inside a Haida raven</a>. Trudeau got the globe tattoo when he was 23 and the raven when he turned 40. (Media Ball)

  • 4. Keeping It In The Family

    Trudeau and his wife Sophie have two children, Xavier James (4) and Ella-Grace Margaret (3). Both are partially named after family.<a href="http://www.chatelaine.com/en/article/4970--the-littlest-trudeau" target="_hplink"> Xavier James is named after Trudeau's maternal grandfather James Sinclair</a> (the politician) and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Gr%C3%A9goire" target="_hplink">Ella-Grace Margaret is named after Trudeau's mother Margaret and Grace Elliot, Trudeau's paternal grandmother</a>. Xavier also happens to share a birthday with Pierre Elliott Trudeau. (CP)

  • 3. Politician And Actor

    <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0846011/" target="_hplink">Trudeau played Talbot Mercer Papineau</a> in the 2007 CBC miniseries "The Great War."

  • 2. .. And Video Game Star

    <a href="http://arts.nationalpost.com/2011/09/06/in-deus-ex-justin-trudeau-is-the-pm-and-canada-has-a-problem-with-illegal-immigrants-from-the-u-s/" target="_hplink">Trudeau is prime minister in the dystopian future portrayed in the video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution</a>. (CP)

  • 1. Childhood Sweathearts

    Sophie used to visit the Trudeau family home when she was a child. She was a classmate and friend of Trudeau's youngest brother Michel, who died tragically in a B.C. avalanche in 1998. Justin and Sophie made contact again at a fundraiser in 2003 and soon after began dating. <a href="http://www.macleans.ca/canada/national/article.jsp?content=20050606_106678_106678" target="_hplink">Trudeau was so smitten</a> that he declared they would spend the rest of their lives together on the very first date. (CP)