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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 May, 2005, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Canada faces no-confidence vote
Paul Martin
Paul Martin says he wants a scandal inquiry to be allowed to finish
Canada's opposition has said it will try to bring down the minority Liberal government in a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper revealed the plan after a late-night meeting of his party in Ottawa.

The governing Liberals have been mired in a corruption scandal that has virtually paralysed business in the country's parliament.

It could be a close call if there is a parliamentary vote, correspondents say.

"The Conservative Party cannot support the government. We cannot support a government that is mired in these kinds of corruption scandals," Mr Harper said on Monday.

If the Conservatives succeed with their vote of no confidence, an election would be held in June or July, says the BBC's Lee Carter in Toronto.

Last week, the governing Liberals struck a deal with a small leftist party, which means that a no-confidence motion may end up being a nail-biter, depending on the votes of just two non-aligned independent MPs, he adds.

Scandal

The governing Liberals have been embroiled in a corruption scandal after an Auditor General's report last year found that in the late 1990s hundreds of millions of dollars of government promotional money was wasted.

Last month, Prime Minister Paul Martin, who has never been personally linked to the allegations, apologised to Canadians on national television over the scandal.

He also pleaded that a public inquiry looking into the corruption allegations should be allowed to complete its work.

Since Mr Martin's appeal, the Conservatives' lead in the opinion polls has all but evaporated, which makes their strategy all the more risky, our correspondent says.





SEE ALSO:
Canada's PM fights to stay in job
22 Apr 05 |  Americas
Profile: Paul Martin
21 Apr 05 |  Americas
Canada PM defends his leadership
11 Apr 05 |  Americas
Scandal anger mounts in Canada
10 Apr 05 |  Americas
Canada scandal testimony released
08 Apr 05 |  Americas
Canada PM quizzed over lost funds
10 Feb 05 |  Americas


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