Liberals say no election this summer

Tue Jun 3, 2008 5:58pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian politicians and voters can relax this summer, as the main opposition Liberal Party plans to prevent a federal election.

The minority Conservative government, elected in January 2006, can in theory fall at any time, but the Liberals have kept them in power and made it clear on Tuesday they would continue to do so for the next few months at least.

"I would prefer to not be in a situation where Canadians would not have to vote in the middle of July. I don't think they would appreciate that," Liberal leader Stephane Dion told reporters.

If the government were to fall now, it would mean an election on July 14. The House is scheduled to adjourn on June 20 until September 15, making late October the earliest possibility for an election after the summer break.

Dion on Monday said he was more inclined to force an election than he was some months ago, but the Liberals have been hesitant to go up against a better-organized and richer Conservative Party, especially as they trail in the polls.

If the Conservatives are not brought down, the next election will be in October 2009.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Frank McGurty)

 
<p>Liberal leader Stephane Dion speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 17, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>