Canadian leader shuts down Parliament to keep power - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Canadian leader shuts down Parliament to keep power

OTTAWA (AP) - Facing a no-confidence vote he appeared all but certain to lose, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shut down Parliament.

It's a move that effectively keeps his government in power for the better part of the next two months.

Harper says the move is intended to buy some time so lawmakers from all parties can "focus on the economy and work together." The prime minister has been trying to develop an economic stimulus package.

But the three opposition parties charge he's failed to insulate Canada from the global financial crisis.

Opposition New Democrat leader Jack Layton accused Harper of simply "trying to save his job."

The move comes less than two months after Harper won re-election. It's unprecedented in Canadian political history. Harper asked the unelected representative of the head of state, Britain's Queen Elizabeth, for the power to close down Parliament until Jan. 26, and the request was granted.

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