Quantcast
Connect with us

WikiLeaks Party unveils Australian election plans

Published

on

Whistleblowing group WikiLeaks unveiled plans Saturday to field candidates in at least three states in Australia’s elections and said it would be “embarrassing” if Julian Assange won but could not take his seat.

Assange, Australian-born founder of the controversial WikiLeaks site, announced that he would run for the Senate last year and is pushing ahead with the plan despite being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June.

Greg Barns, a lawyer who is Assange’s newly-appointed campaign director, said the WikiLeaks Party had secured candidates to run in at least three states when Australia goes to the polls on September 14.

Aside from Assange, who is expected to be on the upper house ticket for the state of Victoria, Barns said WikiLeaks would present several other “high quality candidates” including a state running mate for the WikiLeaks chief.

That would allow the party to take the Victoria seat even if Assange, who sought Ecuadorian asylum in a bid to dodge extradition to Sweden where he is wanted over sex crime allegations, is unable to return to Australia.

ADVERTISEMENT

Britain refused to grant Assange safe passage out of the country, leaving him stranded in Ecuador’s London embassy, and Australia — his place of birth — has been outspoken about his whistleblowing activities.

Barns said the WikiLeaks Party “certainly think we’re in the mix to win a Senate seat in each of the three states”.

“It would be up to the government to secure the opportunity for Mr Assange to come back to Australia,” Barns told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

But he added: “It would be internationally embarrassing for the voters of Victoria not to be able to have in the senate the person for whom they voted on September 14.”

Despite the swirl of allegations against him, the WikiLeaks founder is a popular figure in Australia.

Assange said last month that he believed the US would drop its grand jury investigation of his diplomatic memo leaks and Britain would follow suit were he to win a seat in the Australian election.

ADVERTISEMENT

To persist would risk an “international diplomatic row” Assange told the Australian news website The Conversation.

Barns denied that Assange’s Senate bid was merely a strategy to secure his release from the embassy and return to Australia.

“If that were the case he would simply put his name down for the Senate, run in the ungrouped category and hope to get elected,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Assange’s father John Shipton, chairman of the WikiLeaks Party, echoed Barns’s remarks, saying his son was “very firm” in his commitment to politics.

“This is the political manifestation of an event that’s been unfolding for 10 years,” said Shipton.

“In this way, transparency can have the arm of accountability with some political authority and power behind it.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Assange has vowed to be a libertarian and “fierce defender of free media” if he is elected to the 76-seat Australian Senate.

The WikiLeaks Party said more than 500 people had already signed up as members — the threshold to be registered with the Australian Electoral Commission — and that they came from across the political spectrum.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

‘I’ll get the popcorn’: Ex-FBI investigator who worked under Mueller explains how the hearing will go Wednesday

Published

on

Former CIA officer and FBI investigator Phil Mudd outlined what he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller will say when he's asked specific questions in the hearings Wednesday.

"I think you could look at two categories here," Mudd told CNN's Jake Tapper. "One is the factual category, and I know Aaron Zebley would be there. Zebly is someone who will not only know facts, [but] 2 1/2 years of an investigation including stuff like phone email and financial data, [it's] not bad to have somebody else there trying to recall that information and from when I was in the Bureau, by is cool and a made man. He’s trusted."

Continue Reading

Facebook

James Comey says it is ‘fair’ for Democrats to blast AG Barr at Mueller hearing

Published

on

Former FBI Director James Comey said it would be fair game for Democrats to go after Attorney General Bill Barr during Wednesday's televised hearings with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Barr was highly criticized for releasing a letter summarizing the Mueller findings, which was found to be inaccurate when the redacted report was released.

"I heard from a source today, familiar with Attorney General Barr's thinking, that is nervous about being attacked tomorrow. What sort of exposure does Attorney general Barr have?" MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace asked.

"I don’t think he will be attacked by the witness or witnesses," Comey replied.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Two teen suspects sought in Canada murders of US-Australian couple

Published

on

Police in Canada on Tuesday named two suspects wanted in connection with three murders, including the killings of an American woman and Australian man whose bodies were found in rural British Columbia.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, had been reported missing in British Columbia but are now believed to be on the run.

They were last seen in the north of Saskatchewan province, driving a gray Toyota RAV-4, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Sergeant Janelle Shoihet, told a press conference.

Both suspects are considered to be dangerous, police said in a warning to the public.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image