Trudeau rules out coalition as he forms new Canadian government

Ottawa, Oct 24 (AFP/APP): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday ruled out forming a coalition government despite an election victory that left his Liberals short of a majority.

Trudeau said he would consult with leaders of Canada’s other parties on their priorities, and how they might work together.

“They will be varied conversations, but I can tell you it is not in our plans at all to form any sort of formal or informal coalition,” he said.

His new cabinet will be sworn in on November 20. Like his first in 2015, Trudeau said it would be made up of an equal number of women and men.

The Liberals emerged the winners in Monday’s ballot, but lost their comfortable majority in parliament after a close race with the Tories.

Official results give the Liberal Party 157 seats in the 338-member House of Commons, down from 177 at its dissolution.

Four years ago, Trudeau, then a rookie leader who waded into crowds to take selfies with adoring young fans, led the Liberals to a landslide win in the last elections.

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But his star power has dimmed amid a major ethics scandal and an embarrassing blackface controversy.

The Conservatives won 121 seats but beat the Liberals in the popular vote, taking 34.4 percent to their 33.1 percent.

In his first national address since Monday’s election, Trudeau said he would speak with leaders of the Conservatives, Bloc Quebecois, New Democratic Party (NDP) and Green Party to sort out a path forward.

“I intend to sit down with all party leaders in the coming weeks to talk about their priorities, about how we can work together to respond to the preoccupations that Canadians have from one end of this country to the other,” Trudeau said.

He laid out a few priorities, including tougher climate actions, “a better partnership with indigenous people,” and middle class tax cuts.

He vowed also to continue to work with international partners on global warming, economic development, strengthening democracies and other “big issues that matter to everyone.”

Victorious but weakened, Trudeau needs help to form government

 

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