NDP says to prevent government's fall

Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:52pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) said on Wednesday it would keep the minority Conservative government in power in an upcoming confidence vote in Parliament and thus prevent an early election.

Parliament will vote on Thursday evening on a motion from the Liberal Party, the largest opposition group, expressing a loss of confidence in the government. If it passed, the government would fall and a new election be held. The government can survive with the backing, tacit or otherwise, of one opposition party.

NDP leader Jack Layton did not say whether his members would abstain, or vote with the Liberals but in insufficient numbers to defeat the government, or actually vote with the government -- but said he would prevent the government's fall so that legislation expanding jobless benefits can pass.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer)