Trudeau to form minority govt after narrow victory

OTTAWA: A weakened Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set out on Tuesday to secure the support of smaller parties he will need to form a government after winning Canada’s nail-biter general election but falling short of a majority.
Trudeau’s Liberals took 157 seats in the 338-member House of Commons, down from a comfortable majority of 177 in the last one, official results showed.
Trudeau will thus have to seek some kind of accommodation with the Bloc Quebecois or the New Democratic Party.
Before launching talks with these parties, Trudeau greeted people at a subway station in Montreal and posed smiling for selfies.
Trudeau received congratulations from US President Donald Trump and from European Council president Donald Tusk.
“From coast to coast to coast, tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity,” Trudeau said in his victory speech. “And they rejected cuts and austerity and voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change.” Even though he came out weakened, Trudeau did better than expected. Up until election day polls had him neck and neck with Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer.
The Conservatives won 121 seats but beat the Liberals in the popular vote, taking 34.4 per cent to their 33.1 per cent. Scheer issued a warning to Trudeau.
“Canadians have passed judgement on (Trudeau’s) Liberal government,” noting that the Liberals shed more than 20 seats.
“We have put him on notice, his leadership is damaged and his government will end soon and when that time comes, the Conservatives will be ready and we will win!” The first test of Trudeau’s future government will follow in the coming weeks with a speech to parliament outlining his legislative priorities and a confidence vote.
For now he faces the tough task of forming a government, for which he will have to take into account the demands of minority parties. — AFP