05/15/2016 07:14 EDT | Updated 05/16/2017 01:12 EDT

Governing body of NDP meets as party looks to set terms for leadership race

OTTAWA — The NDP's federal council is meeting in Ottawa today as the party looks to set the terms for its upcoming leadership race.

The council, made up of about 100 New Democrats from across Canada, is considered the party's governing body.

There is much to consider as the NDP eyes a leadership race, including the party's current debt load of around $5 million — a legacy of the marathon federal election that punted the party back to third party status in the Commons.

A letter from central players in the party obtained by The Canadian Press noted the council should consider the competition's financial impact and highlighted the 2003 and 2012 leadership races both lasted eight months.

The party is also hearing from provincial wings about the need to ensure the timing of the race does not conflict with other elections.

Tom Mulcair, who was flatly rejected in his bid to stay on as leader at the party's Edmonton convention in April, says it is unlikely he will run again in the 2019 federal election.