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Rediff.com  » News » Assange to run for Victorian senate seat

Assange to run for Victorian senate seat

February 13, 2013 16:45 IST

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, is all set to contest for a Senate seat in the September 14 federal election from Victoria.

 WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance spokeswoman Sam Castro said Assange's application for the election enrolment was given today at the Australian Electoral Commission in Melbourne.

"It was lodged on Julian's behalf with his signature," Castro said adding that the address nominated in Assange's application was his mother's house in Mentone, in the federal electorate of Isaacs.

The 41-year-old hacker-turned activist, an Australian national, is trying to avoid extradition from Britain to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault in August 2010.

Since June 19, 2012, Assange has been inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has since been granted diplomatic asylum.

Assange fears that he may be sent to the US, if extradited to Sweden, and face charges punishable by death for publishing some 250,000 leaked American diplomatic cables.

Castro said a newly formed WikiLeaks party will consist of a 10-member national council and would be convened within a week, AAP news agency reported.

"They are people who are close associates, academics, specialists in their field and activists as well," she said.

Castro further said if Assange was elected and unable to fill his senate seat, another nominated member would be chosen to fill the vacancy.

"My understanding is ... the party can nominate another person if a candidate is unable to take their seat," she said.

Castro said the party would run on a platform of transparency in government.

Assange's father John Shipton said he will be the chief executive of the newly-formed party and believed there was a lot of public support for his son.

"I think there's a lot of support for Julian and even more support for what Julian stands for," Shipton said adding, "The party stands for what Julian espouses - transparency and accountability in government and of course human rights.

"Assange's mother Christine Assange said public support indicated a successful run for him.

"There is a lot of enthusiasm in people for a change," she said.

Natasha Chaku in Melbourne
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