09/01/2011 04:47 EDT | Updated 11/01/2011 05:12 EDT

NDP To Push For More Quebec Party Members

The interim leader of the federal NDP says Quebec MPs will be pushing to get more membership cards signed in the run up to the leadership vote.

Nycole Turmel told CBC Montreal Thursday there are fewer than 2,000 card-carrying members in province that holds more than half of the party’s federal seats.

That amounts to just over 2 per cent of the national membership.

“I would have to agree that at this point, we don’t have a lot of members in Quebec,” she said. “But the line will be, the direction will be, to give them the time to sign up as many cards as they can.”

She said the party will be careful to follow the death-bed recommendation of late leader Jack Layton to elect a permanent leader as soon as possible.

Waiting could leave room for party divisions, Turmel said.

The party’s federal council will meet next week to discuss how many, if any, votes will be specifically set aside for Quebec.

Turmel said the weighting of Quebec’s votes for a new leader should ultimately be up to party membership.

“I would say it’s up to the members as well as the people in Quebec to sign up a card,” she said. “I’m sure that Quebec MPs, as well as the association, will work really hard to make sure that we are well represented.”

Turmel said during the party’s last leadership race in 2003, members could sign cards up to a month before the vote.

No one in the party has officially announced a leadership bid yet.