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Julian Assange (File photo)
Julian Assange (File photo)
Image: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Julian Assange to run for Australian senate, his mum says he'll be 'awesome'

The Wikileaks founder intends to run in the September poll even though he is currently holed-up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Jan 30th 2013, 11:07 AM 4,733 43

JULIAN ASSANGE, THE founder of the whistle blowing website Wikileaks, has said he will run for a seat in the Australian senate in federal elections to be held later this year.

The announcement came on the Wikileaks’ Twitter account this morning as the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard caused a surprise by calling an election for 14 September.

The controversial whistle blower is currently holed-up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London having sought political asylum there nearly six months ago after a court ruled that he should be extradited to Sweden to face charges of attempted sexual assault.

He claims that if he is extradited to Sweden he could eventually be extradited to the US to faces possible charges over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of US government documents including diplomatic cables concerning the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Gillard said that the announcement of an election eight months before polling day was intended to give “shape and order” to the year ahead.

But the Wikileaks Twitter account described it as a “unity-inducing ploy to prevent the low-polling PM Gillard from being rolled by her own party”.

The Australian newspaper The Age was able to confirm Assange’s political ambitions with his mother, Christine, who said that her son will be “awesome” if he is elected to the Senate.

Assange said last year that he would run for the senate in his home country and intended to form a Wikileaks party which would recruit others to stand with him.

On the Wikileaks Twitter account, the organisation outlined that if Assange cannot take his seat the chamber could vote to replace him with a member from the same party.

It added that if the two main parties – the Liberals and Labour – vote to expel him from the senate “we will have a real cracker in Australian politics”.

More: Australia PM surprises with September polls announcement

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Hugh O'Connell


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