Disgraced Chinese Politburo member Bo Xilai has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party and will face criminal charges, state media has reported.
It also said the party congress to select new leaders will be held November 8
Mr Bo, who had been a candidate for top office until caught up in a scandal that included a murder, will face charges for corruption, abuse of power, bribe taking and improper relations with a number of women.
Dates for the congress, held once every five years, were overdue and highly anticipated because it will see Hu Jintao step down after 10 years as party boss - and China's ultimate leader - to be replaced by Xi Jinping.
The scandal was China's biggest in decades and has overshadowed preparations for the congress.
Mr Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was given a suspended death sentence last month after confessing to murdering British businessman Neil Heywood over a business dispute by pouring cyanide into his mouth.