, LONDON, May 11 – Conservative leader David Cameron said Tuesday it was "decision time" for the third-placed Liberal Democrats about whether to share power with his party or Labour after Britain\’s deadlocked election.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg meanwhile said the talks were approaching a "critical and final phase."
"It\’s now I believe decision time, decision time for the Liberal Democrats," said Cameron, a day after Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced he will stand down as Labour leader to open the way for a possible Lib Dem-Labour deal.
"I hope (the Lib Dems) make the right decision that will give this country the strong, stable government it badly needs and badly needs quickly," added Cameron.
Clegg has emerged as the kingmaker after last Thursday\’s elections in which the centre-right Conservatives won the most seats but without an absolute majority in the 650-member House of Commons.
The centrist Lib Dems had been negotiating only with the Conservatives for four days, before Brown\’s dramatic announcement that he will resign — after which Clegg launched talks with Labour as well.
Clegg had made it clear before the May 6 election that he could not consider a power-sharing deal with Labour if Brown remained in office.
Speaking shortly after Cameron, Clegg said the negotiations were approaching a "critical and final phase," adding that he was as "impatient as anyone else" for an announcement.
"I really hope we will be able to make an announcement, so we can clear up everything and explain to people exactly what our thinking is, as quickly as we possibly can," he said.