Julian Assange speaks from London during the official launch and announcement of Senate candidates in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.
SYDNEY: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange yesterday officially launched his political party to contest Australian elections this year, saying a victory for his candidates would be akin to planting the country’s “best investigative journalists” in the Senate.
Assange, the Australian founder of the whistleblowing website, said the WikiLeaks Party would field seven candidates for upper house Senate seats in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
Despite being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than a year, the 42-year-old will run in Victoria, saying he planned to be “an independent scrutineer of government activity”.
“WikiLeaks Party’s core values of transparency, accountability and justice are the template against which we will examine any important issues for Australians: tax reform, asylum-seekers, climate change policy and more,” he said in an opinion piece in The Australian newspaper.
“We will not accept legislation or government policy that is based on inaccurate, poorly disclosed or inadequate information.
“In this way our positions will always reflect fairness, good government policy and practice, and protecting the interests of all Australians.”
Australia is due to go into the polls before the end of November with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Labor up against the Tony Abbott-led conservatives. Opinion polls suggest Abbott will narrowly win. Assange said he plans to keep politicians honest, complaining about “the stealth with which our elected representatives have worked together (often across party lines) to pass laws without proper public consultation”. AFP