Brown stops short of ruling out early election

Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday refused to rule out holding a general election in the coming months amid speculation he may gamble and seek an early mandate for his new government.

Brown stops short of ruling out early election
Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday refused to rule out holding a general election in the coming months amid speculation he may gamble and seek an early mandate for his new government.

Brown repeatedly declined to say outright that he will not call a snap poll soon, in a BBC radio interview.

"There will be no announcement today. There will be a time and a place for a general election but it is not now," he said, when asked to rule out an election in the coming months.

Under his predecessor Tony Blair, Brown's governing Labour Party won the May 2005 general election with a comfortable majority.

That mandate runs for five years. However, British prime ministers can call an election at any time, and have usually done so after four years in recent decades.

Brown took over from Blair on June 27 and the main opposition Conservatives, at the time ahead in opinion polls for the first time in years, quickly urged Brown to seek a mandate of his own.

However, Labour have recovered their poll lead since Brown took over, making an early election seem more appealing.

"I think by the way I've tried to do the job in the last few months that what's been on my mind is doing the job well," Brown said when pressed about the chances of an election soon.


AFP
Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2007, 16:22
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