Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to put off a hearing in his $3.5-million defamation suit against the Liberal party because it is scheduled for the middle of the federal election campaign.

Harper's lawyers filed an emergency motion Friday asking Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland to consider the bid to adjourn the case during the campaign.

The lawyers argue that the election distracts Harper from the details of the suit he filed over an allegation that Conservatives attempted to bribe a sitting MP in 2005.

Harper sued in March 2008 after the Liberal party posted website headlines suggesting the prime minister knew that two senior Conservatives attempted to bribe Independent MP Chuck Cadman before a critical Commons confidence vote in May 2005.

In a book published earlier in 2008, B.C. author Tom Zytaruk quotes Cadman's widow, Dona, as saying her husband told her that Conservatives offered him a $1-million life insurance policy in return for his vote against the Liberals.

Cadman, who had long represented the suburban Vancouver riding of Surrey North, voted with the Liberals and died shortly afterward.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The election is Oct. 14.