Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s plans to capture a seat at Australia’s September 7 elections were in disarray on Thursday after his top local candidate quit due to an internal fight over party organization. Assange, who remains holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, accepted responsibility for the divisions, saying he had been too busy helping fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia. “I made a decision two months ago to spend a lot of my time on dealing with the Edward Snowden asylum situation, and trying to save the life of a young man. The result is over delegation,” Assange told Australian television on Thursday. “I admit and I accept full responsibility for over delegating functions to the Australian party while I try to take care of that situation.” Assange has been given political asylum by Ecuador, but faces immediate arrest and extradition to Sweden to face accusations of rape and sexual assault if he leaves Ecuador’s London embassy.
Australia: WikiLeaks founder, Senate candidate Assange says he’s proud of support in homeland | Washington Post
WikiLeaks founder and Australian Senate candidate Julian Assange says he is proud of the level of support he enjoys in his home country and has pledged to enforce transparency in Parliament if he wins a seat in elections in September. “When you turn a bright light on, the cockroaches scuttle away, and that’s what we need to do to Canberra,” the Australian capital, Assange told Nine Network television in an interview filmed in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London and broadcast in Australia on Sunday. In a separate interview at the embassy, where he has taken refuge for more than a year, the 42-year-old fugitive told Ten Network that his popularity demonstrated by a recent opinion poll reflected poorly on the ruling Labor Party. The center-left government staunchly supports the U.S. condemnation of WikiLeaks’ disclosure of hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
The political arm of the global whistleblower organisation WikiLeaks has been formally registered by the Australian Electoral Commission in time for the federal election where the party plans to contest Senate seats in three Australian states. The WikiLeaks party received formal registration on Tuesday and was registered under the name of Gail Malone, a member of the party’s national council and described as a “peace activist” on their website. The registration lists an address in Fitzroy, Melbourne as the party’s correspondence address.