03/10/2012 07:33 EST | Updated 05/10/2012 05:12 EDT

Saskatchewan NDP announces it will pick next leader a year from now

REGINA - The Saskatchewan NDP says it will choose its new leader a year from now.

The party's provincial council announced Saturday that the NDP will hold a leadership convention sometime in February or March of 2013.

It says it will announce the exact date, as well as the official start date of the race, in the coming weeks.

The NDP was left with just nine of the 58 seats in the legislature and captured 32 per cent of the popular vote — the lowest the party has ever received in Saskatchewan under the NDP banner.

Leader Dwain Lingenfelter lost his own seat and resigned.

The party says it will use a one-member, one-vote process.

"The NDP is a grass roots democratic party and we want to make sure our leadership process is open and accessible to as many people as possible," Saskatchewan NDP President Jane Wollenberg said in a news release on Saturday.

"We are also expecting a competitive leadership race with a number of candidates putting their names forward."

Members will be able to vote online, by phone, mail, or in person at the convention.

Interim leader John Nilson has said he will not seek the job.

The party says the entry fee for candidates is $6,000 with a maximum spending limit of $200,000 per candidate.

The 2013 leadership race will also use a preferential ballot with 50 per cent plus one needed by an individual candidate to win.