Julian Assange: Assange’s Senate Bid
March 20, 2012 by staff
Julian Assange: Assange’s Senate Bid, Founder Julian Assange (left) of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate while under house arrest in the United Kingdom, according to an announcement made by his organization over the weekend. The next election is expected sometime late in 2013 at the earliest.
Numerous legal experts quoted in international media reports said Assange’s current troubles with various governments would not prevent him from running for office in his native Australia. And WikiLeaks seems to agree.
“We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained,” the organization said in a twitter message posted on Saturday that immediately made headlines around the world. “Julian has decided to run.”
WikiLeaks noted in a follow-up posting on the social-networking service that it would announce which Australian state Assange would run in “at the appropriate time.” A separate message said the group would also be running a candidate against the nation’s far-left Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has been criticized by Assange and his supporters for failing to defend WikiLeaks and its founder – an Australian national.
“I think it would be possible for Julian to campaign in absentia,” said Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam during a recent press conference, adding, however, that it would be “alarming” if Assange were still detained by next year. “I think there is huge support in the Australian community for Julian and his work, and the work of WikiLeaks. We don’t like being bullied by the United States government and we would like to see the Australian government step up for him.”
For more than a year, the high-profile transparency activist has been fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in a bizarre “sex crime” investigation that his supporters insist is politically motivated. The British Supreme Court is set to rule on the case soon. But even if that fails, attorneys said they would appeal to the “European Court of Human Rights.”
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