Early election looms in Canada

Monday 25 April 2005 07.24
Early election looms in Canada

Canada's Prime Minister has promised to call an election within a month of the report of an inquiry into political kickbacks, which is due in December.

Paul Martin's Liberal Party is leading a minority government there since the last elections in June 2004.

Mr Martin set up the inquiry in February 2004 following allegations that money from a counter-separatism fund was paid to advertising companies which did little in return.

Some of it was said to have been passed to politicians later.

Evidence given to the inquiry in recent days appears to confirm the involvement of the Liberal Party in the scandal.

Opposition reaction to Mr Martin's announcement was cool, and there are indications that they may force a vote of confidence sooner, leading to a summer election.