China says disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party and will face criminal charges, and that party congress to select new leaders will be held Nov. 8.

State media said Friday that Bo Xilai, 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.