Trudeau promises equal number of men, women in cabinet

Ottawa (AFP) - Canada's prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau pledged Tuesday to announce his first cabinet in November, adding that it will include an equal number of men and women.

During the campaign, the 43-year-old pledged parity in the gender composition of his cabinet, and on Tuesday he said he would keep that vow.

"I'm very happy to be able to say that we will absolutely fulfill that promise," he told a press conference.

The new cabinet will be announced on November 4 -- the same day Trudeau officially becomes prime minister after a transition from the previous administration.

Outgoing prime minister Stephen Harper had 12 women in his last 38-member cabinet.

"I think there's certainly a clear desire by Canadians to see both a stronger and smaller cabinet than we have had in years past," Trudeau commented, adding he is still reflecting who will be named to various posts.

He said the new government must first quickly get up to speed on important issues,and Trudeau has several upcoming international summit obligations before year's end, including APEC, G20 and climate summits.

"My priority is to make parliament work and to bring it back as quickly as is reasonable," Trudeau said.