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Canada election: PM Justin Trudeau returns to power, says voters rejected negativity

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Toronto, , Canada Oct 22, 2019, 12.15 PM (IST)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will remain in power but with a minority government that will require the support of a smaller left-leaning party after a hard-fought election in which he was dogged by scandals.

"From coast to coast to coast tonight, Canadians rejected division and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity and they voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change," Trudeau told cheering crowds of supporters delivering his victory speech at the party headquarters in Montreal in the early hours of Tuesday (October 22).

Watch: Gravitas: Impact of Immigration on Canada's Politics in 2019

The Liberals had won or were leading in 156 out of 338 seats in Monday's (October 21) vote, according to Elections Canada. That put the Liberals far short of the 170 seats needed for a second straight majority government.

Trudeau, who took power in 2015 as a charismatic figure promising "sunny ways," saw his popularity drop over old photos of him in blackface and his handling of a corporate corruption case. He will now have to rely on the New Democratic Party (NDP) to push through key legislation.

Trudeau, 47, who has championed diversity as prime minister, was endorsed by former US President Barack Obama in the final stretch of the campaign and is viewed as one of the last remaining progressive leaders among the world's major democracies.

But the son of the late Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau also had to overcome a sense of fatigue with his government.

US President Donald Trump, whose relationship with Trudeau has been testy at times, congratulated him "on a wonderful and hard-fought victory" via Twitter.

Story highlights

Trudeau, 47, who has championed diversity as prime minister, was endorsed by former US President Barack Obama in the final stretch of the campaign and is viewed as one of the last remaining progressive leaders among the world's major democracies.