Julian Assange plans to run for senate in Australia as member of WikiLeaks party

12 Dec 2012

WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has indicated that he will run for Australian Senate in 2013 and plans to establish a WikiLeaks political party are well under way.

Assange, who is currently in Ecuador having been granted asylum at the British embassy there, is not yet registered to vote but is mulling over the strategic decision to register in either New South Wales or Victoria as an overseas voter. This will determine the state which he will hope to represent in the 2013 election.

The WikiLeaks founder is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting two women. Assange claims that returning to Sweden will result in him being extradited to the US, where it is believed he will be charged under the Espionage Act of 1917.

Should Assange be successful in his senate bid but unable to return to Australia to take up the position, a nominee would occupy his seat.

Speaking to The Age, Assange revealed that plans to form a WikiLeaks political party early in the new year are “significantly advanced” and that a number of people “admired by the Australian public” could be prepared to stand for election as members of this party.

A draft of the party’s constitution has been prepared and subjected to legal review but, to register with the Australian Electoral Commission, the WikiLeaks party must have 500 members listed on the electoral roll. The party would apparently hold to the principles of the whistle-blowing organisation, seeking to promote transparency in government and combat intrusions on individual privacy.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.