Trudeau rules out coalition as he forms new Canadian government

Ottawa (AFP) –


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday ruled out forming a coalition government despite an election victory that left his Liberals short of a majority.

Trudeau said he would consult with leaders of the Canada's other parties on their priorities, and how they might work together.

"They will be varied conversations, but I can tell you it is not in our plans at all to form any sort of formal or informal coalition," he said.

He said his new cabinet will be sworn in on November 20.

Trudeau's Liberals emerged the winners in Monday's ballot, but lost their comfortable majority in the House of Common after a close race with the Tories.

Official results give Trudeau's party 157 seats in the 338-member House of Commons, down from 177.

Four years ago, Trudeau, then a newcomer to politics, led the Liberals to a 184 seat win in the last elections but his star power has dimmed amid a major ethics scandal and an embarrassing blackface controversy.

The Conservatives won 121 seats but beat the Liberals in the popular vote, taking 34.4 percent to their 33.1 percent.

In his first national address since Monday's election, Trudeau said he would speak with leaders of the Conservatives, Bloc Quebecois, New Democrats and Greens to sort out a path forward.

"I intend to sit down with all party leaders in the coming weeks to talk about their priorities, about how we can work together to respond to the preoccupations that Canadians have from one end of this country to the other," Trudeau said.

He laid out a few priorities, including tougher climate actions, "a better partnership with indigenous people," and middle class tax cuts.