Canadian prime minister vows to resist attempt to oust him

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned an opposition plan to gain power by ousting his government in a confidence vote, calling the manoeuvres undemocratic.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned an opposition plan to gain power by ousting his government in a confidence vote, calling the manoeuvres undemocratic.

Mr Harper, speaking in a televised address, vowed to use “every legal means” to stop the legislative move to unseat his minority Conservative government next week and replace it with an opposition-led coalition.

The embattled Conservative leader was responding to three parties that have united against his handling of the Canadian economy, saying he has failed to deal with the global meltdown.

A Cabinet minister has suggested that Mr Harper would ask Governor General Michaelle Jean to suspend Parliament until next month – giving him needed time to develop a stimulus package.

Mr Harper said later that he will visit the governor general to discuss the political crisis, but his statement didn’t elaborate further.

Opposition Liberal leader Stephane Dion said a suspension of Parliament would only delay the inevitable.

Mr Dion urged Ms Jean in a letter to reject Mr Harper’s request, arguing it would prolong the crisis and exacerbate the country’s economic difficulties.

If the plan succeeds, it would be the first time that a Canadian government has been ousted in a confidence vote and replaced by an opposition coalition without an intervening election.

“The Opposition does not have the democratic right to impose a coalition,” Mr Harper told the nation in a taped address from his office in Parliament.

“The opposition is attempting to impose this deal without your say, without your consent, and without your vote. This is no time for backroom deals.”

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