OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Wednesday he would reach out to all parties after his Conservative Party won in national elections but fell short of a parliamentary majority.
Mr. Harper had called Tuesday’s elections early in hopes of getting his party a majority, and in doing so he became the first major world leader to face voters since the financial crisis. Instead, the Conservatives would once again be forced to rely on opposition support to pass budgets and legislation — as they have had to since their 2006 election victory.
Mr. Harper sought to put a good face on the results on Wednesday, pointing to an increased number of seats and pledging cooperation. “We have shown that minority government can work and at this time of global economic instability we owe it to Canadians to demonstrate this once again,” he said, adding: “We hold out a hand to all members of all parties asking them to join together to protect the economy and weather this world financial crisis.”
With nearly all the returns in, the election agency reported the Conservatives had won or were leading in races for 143 of Parliament’s 308 seats, an improvement over the 127 seats it had in the previous Parliament. — AP
6 months ago