LAVAL - Members of the Quebec Liberal Party gathered in Laval Sunday afternoon to decide on the rules of the Liberal leadership race.

Jean Charest’s successor will be named on March 17. All candidates must submit their applications by Dec. 14.

According to the rules submitted by the party’s executive committee, each candidate must make a security deposit of $50,000, and election expenses should not exceed $600,000.

At the meeting Sunday, some delegates expressed that the $650,000 total is too high, including leadership candidate Pierre Moreau who said he won’t spend more than $450,000.

All candidates must gather signatures from 500 party members in at least 50 districts and 10 regions of Quebec.

Five debates will take place during the months of January and February, including one entirely in English. The first will take place in Montreal, followed by western Quebec, eastern Quebec, the greater Montreal area and in the greater Quebec City area.

So far, the four candidates are in the race are former cabinet ministers Moreau, Philippe Couillard, Raymond Bachand, and former president of the Quebec Liberal Party's political committee, Jean David.

The Liberal party’s 3,000 delegates will vote on the new leader at a convention the weekend of March 16.

This is the first leadership race for the party since 1983, creating an adjustment period for the Liberal MNAs as they begin to split into different camps.

Interim leader Jean-Marc Fournier said if there’s tension, it will be minimal.

“We will have a campaign where not everybody will agree on everything,” he said. “I’m sure there’s going to be reasonable tension, but I’m sure respect will be there.”