British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early general election to be held on June 8, 2017, in a surprise announcement on Tuesday as Britain prepares for delicate negotiations on leaving the European Union.
May said she will go to parliament on Wednesday to seek approval for the early election.
“We need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done … before the detailed talks begin,” said May, speaking in front of 10 Downing Street.
“I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election,” she said.
May added that the UK needed an election because other parties are opposed to her Brexit plans to leave the EU.
May had previously said there would be no early election under her leadership.
Al Jazeera’s Duncan Golestani, reporting from London, said: “May has rolled the dice, she is taking her gamble. She wants to increase her majority and her mandate to lead the country through Brexit.”
Under Britain’s fixed-term parliament act, which set the date for the next election for 2020, May must win the approval of two-thirds of parliament before proceeding with an earlier election.