British political leaders ponder post-poll coalitionMay 8th, 2010 - 10:52 pm ICT by IANS
London, May 8 (DPA) Britain’s Liberal Party began a series of key meetings Saturday to discuss the possibility of forming a new government with the Conservatives following the general election.
Liberal leader Nick Clegg, who despite a disappointing result for his party is the new kingmaker of British politics, reiterated his key demand for electoral reform.
He is facing crucial meetings with his party leadership and parliamentary representatives, many of whom are known to have reservations about a deal with the Conservatives under David Cameron.
After an initial meeting between top Conservatives and Liberals late Friday, sources said the talks had been “constructive”, and Cameron was keen to strike a deal before markets open Monday.
The Conservatives emerged as the biggest party from Thursday’s election, but fell short of an absolute majority. Labour, led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, came second, suffering heavy losses.
Labour, hoping that Clegg’s talks with the Conservatives will fail, is still hoping to form a “progressive alliance” with the Liberals.
The BBC reported that Clegg and Brown had a 40-minute telephone exchange late Friday in which Brown reacted angrily to the Liberals’ rapprochement with the Conservatives.
Clegg is known to have a personal dislike for Brown, calling him a “desperate man” before the election. Some Liberal Democrats have said Brown’s resignation is a precondition for talks.
Despite the intense political activity, all three party leaders Saturday took part in commemorations to mark the 65th anniversary of VE-Day, the end of World War II.
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Tags: 65th anniversary, absolute majority, biggest party, conservatives and liberals, david cameron, desperate man, electoral reform, heavy losses, kingmaker, liberal democrats, liberal leader, minute telephone, nick clegg, parliamentary representatives, party leadership, personal dislike, post poll, prime minister gordon brown, progressive alliance, world war ii