May 11, 2010 / 2:33 PM / 8 years ago

Warring Canada parties seek more time to find deal

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian government and opposition legislators said on Tuesday they need more time to end a power struggle that could trigger an early election.

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses a news conference after an EU-Canada summit at the European Council in Brussels May 5, 2010. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir</p>

House of Commons speaker Peter Milliken, in a ruling two weeks ago, gave the two sides until Tuesday to sort out their differences over Parliament gaining access to documents relating to the treatment of Afghan prisoners captured by Canadian troops.

Negotiators emerged from talks to say they would ask Milliken for an extension until 1:30 pm this Friday. Both said they were optimistic but offered few details.

The crisis started when the House of Commons, which is controlled by opposition legislators, demanded to see uncensored files on the detainees. The government refused, citing national security concerns.

Milliken said two weeks ago that if a deal cannot be reached he would formally present a motion declaring the government to be in contempt of Parliament. If the House voted in favor, the most likely result would be a quick election.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway

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