The Canadian governor general has dissolved parliament and set May 2 as an election date, after Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government collapsed.
Governor-General David Johnston granted Harper’s request on Saturday to dissolve parliament and hold the general election.
The announcement comes one day after opposition parties toppled Harper on the grounds that his Conservative government was tainted by sleaze, had managed the economy poorly and was in contempt of parliament.
Latest opinion polls show conflicting results with some showing the right-of-center Conservatives are set to retain power in what is the fourth general election in Canada in less than seven years. Other polls point to a victory by the main opposition Liberal Party.
Harper criticized the opposition’s no-confidence vote, saying Canada did not need another election at a time when the country was still struggling to bolster its economy.
“On May 2, we will choose between a stable national government or a reckless coalition, between a low-tax plan for jobs and growth or a high-tax agenda that will stall our recovery,” Harper said after visiting Johnston — the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state.
Michael Ignatieff, leader of the main opposition Liberal Party, issued a statement on Saturday in which he ruled out a coalition with the New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois.
Earlier this week, a parliamentary committee announced the Conservatives had hidden the full costs of a spending program from parliament and the people.