Canadian PM set to call elections

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is said to be poised to call early general elections, despite poor poll ratings.

    Martin (R) took over as the prime minister late last year

    The Prime Minister's office said Martin would pay a formal visit to the country's Governor General Adrienne Clarkson on Sunday afternoon, who then will formally dissolve the parliament.

    An election will almost certainly take place on 28 June, as there must be a period of 36 days between an election call, and an actual vote and Canadian elections are traditionally held on Mondays.

    Martin will seek a fourth consecutive term in office for his centrist Liberal Party and personal mandate for himself after taking over from former prime minister Jean Chretien late last year.

    The prime minister is not constitutionally required to call an election until November 2005.

    Declining popularity

    According to latest polls, the Liberals are on a razor's edge, with support pegged at or just below 40%, ahead of the reconstituted Conservative Party and left of centre New Democrats.

    Canada's political rumour mill has been abuzz for days that Martin, a 65-year-old former businessman and finance minister, would choose this weekend to make the formal announcement.

    Martin's face peered out of full page advertisements in Saturday's newspapers, comparing his credentials to those of opposition leader Stephen Harper.

    Conventional wisdom dictates that his best chance of being returned with a majority is an early poll, especially since his Liberals have been in power for a decade, and are wary of voter fatigue.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.