UK's Theresa May stuns with snap election call

Reversing her position, she has called for election on June 8; citizens moan yet another vote — their fifth in three years

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media, announcing her plan, outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media, announcing her plan, outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday. Pic/AFP 

London: In a shocking move that stunned her allies and opponents, British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday called for snap elections on June 8, asserting that it is the only way to guarantee political stability in the country for years after the UK leaves the European Union.

Prime Minister May, who had repeatedly denied that she would call an election before the next scheduled poll in 2020, indicated that the early general election will help unite the political corridors of the country.

There will be a House of Commons vote on the proposed election today and May will need the Parliament's backing to hold a vote before 2020. Explaining her change of heart, May said: "I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security is to hold this election".

"Our opponents believe because the government's majority is so small, that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong. 'If we do not hold a general election now their political game-playing will continue, and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election," she added. May had phoned the Queen yesterday to inform her of her intention.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition, welcomed May's decision and said, "Labour will stand up for the people of Britain. I welcome the PM's decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first," he said.

EU says Brexit plans unchanged
Brussels: The EU said yesterday it did not expect negotiating guidelines for Britain's exit from the bloc to be affected by the British government's call for an early general election. "The UK elections do not change our EU27 plans," said Preben Aamann, spokesman for Donald Tusk, president of the European Council of the remaining 27 member states.

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