WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has announced that he will run for a seat in the Australian Senate in the September 2013 elections, even though he has spent the past six months holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Assange, who was born in Queensland, made the announcement via the WikiLeaks Twitter account saying: “Australia: Julian Assange has confirmed he will run in the 2013 national election for the Australian Senate.” The account added another message, linking to the relevant chapter in the constitution: “Assange to run on WikiLeaks party ticket. If unable to take place in Senate, the place will be filled by running mate.”
Hours later, the WikiLeaks account appeared to preempt concerns about Assange’s candidacy. If the Liberal National Party and the Australian Labor Party “vote to expel Assange from the Australian Senate after his election, we will have a real cracker in Australian politics,” it said.
Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, also confirmed that her son was running.
“He will be awesome,” she told the Australian Associated Press.
“In the [Australian] House of Representatives we get to choose between U.S. lackey party number one and U.S. lackey party number two—between the major parties,” she said. “So it will be great to ‘Assange’ the Senate for some Aussie oversight.”
However, while running for election, Assange, 41, will likely face even more intense scrutiny over the allegations surrounding him.
He is currently stuck in the Ecuadorian embassy after British courts refused to stay his extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual misconduct. The U.K. government has refused to let him leave the country.
Assange has expressed fears that if he were to be sent to Sweden, authorities there would then extradite him to the United States, where he will be wanted to questioning over WikiLeaks’ publishing of hundreds of thousands of sensitive diplomatic and military cables.
If Assange gets elected to the Australian Senate, it is unclear if that will grant him special immunity status in the U.K. regarding his extradition.
Last week, Assange obtained a copy of the script from “The Fifth Estate,” a DreamWorks movie about him and his secret-leaking website.
“It is a mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks, the organization (and) the character of my staff,” he said, according to The Associated Press. He also said that some scenes in the movie fanned fears about Iran’s nuclear program.
“It is not just an attack against us, it is an attack against Iran. It fans the flames of an attack against Iran,” he added.
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