US & Canada

Bob Rae chosen as Canada Liberal Party interim leader

Bob Rae
Image caption Bob Rae, a Toronto MP, was picked over Montreal parliament member Marc Garneau for the position

Canada's once prominent Liberal Party has named an interim leader after suffering a crushing defeat in the federal election on 2 May.

Bob Rae, a former New Democrat premier of Ontario, was picked over Montreal parliament member Marc Garneau.

Following the announcement, Mr Rae said the Liberal Party must "work more effectively" to achieve its goals.

The Liberals came in third in the election, with Conservatives claiming a majority of the votes.

The Liberal Party dropped to 34 seats from 77 in the 308-seat House of Commons in the general election earlier this month, marking the worst defeat in the history of the party.

Liberal Party leader and former Harvard professor Michael Ignatieff resigned following the election, which saw major gains by the New Democratic Party.

Thirty-four Liberal MPs and 45 Liberal senators decided behind closed doors on Wednesday who would serve as the interim leader.

"I look forward to working with the party and the caucus and the wider Canadian public over the next few months ahead," Mr Rae said on Wednesday.

Mr Rae and Mr Garneau, a former astronaut who was the first to declare his intention to run for the position, had both been vying for the job.

The election marked the first time in Canadian history the Liberal Party did not finish either first or second.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government was forced into an election after a no-confidence vote in parliament.

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