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article imageWikiLeaks turns into Political Party with Assange as Candidate

By Eko Armunanto     Jul 26, 2013 in World
Julian Assange formally inaugurated a political party bearing the name of his anti secrecy organization. He may not be able to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, but that's not stopping him from announcing a campaign for the Senate in Australia.
Julian Assange announced seven candidates Thursday, including himself, for the Australian Senate elections this year. Assange has been stuck in the embassy for over a year now, but that hasn't been all bad for Assange as he was capable of managing the case of Edward Snowden to regain some of the spotlight that could be a boost for his senate campaign. WikiLeaks Party would field seven candidates in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia states. Its national council member Sam Castro said that if Assange wins a seat but cannot return to Australia by then, the party can choose a replacement. He would be required to take up his Senate seat on July 1, 2014 — if he wins.
In a telephone interview with New York Time reported July 25, he said he had every confidence in his ability to run a campaign from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. "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," he said.
Assange said his party's seven Senate candidates would go to the national capital of Canberra to address what it says has been a gradual decline in Australian democracy over the past 30 years. "Canberra needs to be a place of light, not a place of darkness," he said. The Australian government has echoed U.S. condemnations of Assange's publishing, but has also acknowledged he has broken no Australian law.
According to the Australian website for the party: "The WikiLeaks Party stands for unswerving commitment to the core principles of civic courage nourished by understanding and truthfulness and the free flow of information. It is a party that will practice in politics what WikiLeaks has done in the field of information by standing up to the powerful and shining a light on injustice and corruption."
Julian addressed the party launch in the Victoria state capital of Melbourne via Skype from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has taken asylum from extradition to Sweden to face questioning over sexual offense allegations. He says the extradition to the Scandinavian country is merely a first step in efforts to move him to the United States, where he has infuriated officials by publishing secret documents, including 250,000 State Department cables.
Julian Assange’s decision to run for the Australian Senate was at first announced in March 2012. His intent to form a WikiLeaks Party was announced in late 2012 in which he stated that the party would be a vehicle for his candidacy for a seat in the Australian Senate in the 2013 election.
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