New Democrats say no plans to trigger vote

Sun May 31, 2009 5:37pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The leader of Canada's opposition New Democratic Party said on Sunday his party had no plans to move a non-confidence motion before Parliament's summer break, reducing the likelihood of a near-term election.

NDP leader Jack Layton said he would instead prefer to work at getting the minority Conservative government to improve the country's employment insurance program and do more to protect pensions.

"Our intention is to use the remaining weeks to try to get some action on these issues in the House of Commons. We won't be moving a non-confidence motion. We're going to try to move motions that get results for people," he said on CTV's "Question Period" program.

Comments from some members of Canada's opposition Liberals have fueled speculation that the party may be interested in triggering an election, particularly given improving poll numbers since the selection of Michael Ignatieff as Liberal leader.

But to bring the Conservatives down the Liberals need the support of both the NDP and opposition Bloc Quebecois party.

Layton said on Sunday he had not had talks with the Bloc about the timing of a potential election. He also said his party is prepared to fight an election if it happens.

"I don't know what the Liberals are going to do, if they're going to play political games. We're certainly ready if it comes to it. We're organized and ready to go," Layton said.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by Mohammad Zargham)