01/19/2016 10:40 EST | Updated 01/19/2016 10:59 EST

Conservative Leadership Race: Harper's Permanent Successor To Be Chosen In May 2017

The party's leadership election organizing committee met over the weekend.

OTTAWA - Conservative members will elect their new leader next year — on May 27, 2017.

The party’s leadership election organizing committee set the date over the weekend when it met in Toronto to establish some of the rules governing the contest.

Stephen Harper waves to supporters in Calgary on election night. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)

"By choosing May 27, 2017, this will allow for a time frame that not just provides an exciting and competitive race for our members and all Canadians, but keeps it an open and fair contest for all potential candidates," Dan Nowlan, the chair of the 23-member committee, said in a news release Tuesday.

The Conservatives are encouraging Canadians and past members to buy or renew their membership in the party now in order to be eligible to vote in the 2017 contest. The cut-off date for buying a membership, however, wasn’t released Tuesday.

Nowlan’s committee plans to release rules regarding candidate applications, including the official start date, any fees to enter the contest, and spending caps, in the coming weeks and months when decisions have been made.


Photo gallery Conservative Leadership Candidates See Gallery