Thursday, July 25, 2013

Julian Assange formally announces Australian Senate candidacy, the Wikileaks Party

As had been announced back in January, on Thursday Wikileaks founder Julian Assange formally announced his candidacy for a seat in the Australian Senate in national elections to be held later this year. As he did so, he also launched a new political party, the Wikileaks Party.

Of course, Assange will have to run his political campaign from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has been living under poltical asylum for over a year in order to avoid extradition to Sweden, where authorities wish him to go for questioning on sexual assault allegations.

Assange expressed confidence, saying:
It’s not unlike running the WikiLeaks organization. We have people on every continent. We have to deal with over a dozen legal cases at once.

However, it’s nice to be politically engaged in my home country.
If elected, Assange said, the Wikileaks Party will attempt to advance “transparency, justice and accountability.” It sounds much the same as the Wikileaks whistleblower site itself.
My plans are to essentially parachute in a crack troop of investigative journalists into the Senate and to do what we have done with WikiLeaks, in holding banks and government and intelligence agencies to account.
Under Australian law, Assange would have to physically take his seat within one year of his election. It is, however, possible for the Senate to grant him an extension if he is unable to do so.

Although Assange is technically staying at the Ecuadorean Embassy over the Swedish sexual assault allegations, he has also voiced fears that the U.S. would seek its own extradition if he were to reach Sweden. Meanwhile, the British government has stated its intention to arrest him if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

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