Julian Assange wants to run for office

The WikiLeaks founder plans to form a party and run for the Australian Senate next year

Topics: Julian Assange, Australia, WikiLeaks, Whistleblowing, Ecuador,

According to Australian news sources, Julian Assange plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate in 2013 under the banner of the “WikilLeaks Party.” News site the Age reported that Assange has said plans for registering the party were “significantly advanced” and that “a number of very worthy people admired by the Australian public” have expressed interest in standing on the WikiLeaks ticket.

Unsurprisingly, Assange said the party platform would push for greater government transparency and against creeping intrusions on individual privacy. “Polls inside Australia show that Assange could conceivably stand a chance of winning in either New South Wales or Victoria,” the Age noted.

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Meanwhile, Assange himself, who hopes to run for a Senate seat, remains confined within the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder faces extradition to Sweden over rape allegations but has been granted political asylum by Ecuador — he has not been able to leave his London hideout for fear of interception by the British authorities who have vowed to deliver the controversial figure to Sweden. The Age noted that Assange’s circumstance would not necessarily hinder his Senate run: “If Mr Assange were elected but he was unable to return to Australia to take up his position, a nominee would occupy a Senate seat.”

Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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