Opposition leader: Canadian PM will call election

Other News Materials 2 September 2008 06:20 (UTC +04:00)

Canada drew closer to an early election Monday following a meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the country's main opposition leader, reported Associated press.

Harper spokesman Kory Teneycke said there was no common ground with the opposition and that Harper will deliberate over the next few days on whether to call a vote.

Officials in Harper's government have been saying for several days that an early vote is likely, a message confirmed by Liberal opposition leader Stephane Dion.

He said after talks with Harper that the Canadian prime minister wants to go to the polls now, instead of waiting until the next scheduled election in October 2009.

Harper's Conservative government could be brought down after parliament reconvenes on Sept. 15 if the three opposition parties who together hold the majority of seats vote against the government in a "no confidence" motion.

Teneycke also said Dion refused to promise he wouldn't bring the government down with a no confidence motion.

Some analysts say Harper's Conservatives have a better shot of winning an election soon rather than waiting until a time when the Canadian economy might be worse off.

The meeting with Dion was the last of talks Harper has held with Parliament's three main opposition leaders, meetings he's claimed were intended to seek support for his minority government's fall legislative agenda.

Harper officials have said the Canadian leader is likely to dissolve parliament by next Sunday and set an early election for Oct. 14.

The Conservatives unseated the opposition Liberals in 2006 after nearly 13 years in power, but the minority government has been forced to rely on opposition lawmakers to pass legislation.