Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has decided to run for Australia’s senate on behalf of his own organization’s political party. Australia’s Age has the story:
Queensland-born Assange, who founded the secret-leaking website WikiLeaks, announced his Senate ambition last December from Ecuador’s London embassy.
He sought refuge there last June in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.
Mr Assange fears if he goes to Sweden to be questioned over rape allegations, authorities will allow him to be extradited to the US to be questioned over WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of US diplomatic cables.
He said last year he would run as a Senate candidate under a yet-to-be-formed WikiLeaks party banner and was recruiting others to stand with him.
The election will be held on September 14.
Assange’s first action if he won would presumably have to be, to paraphrase Bill Buckley, to “demand a repatriation.” However, since safe passage from the Ecuadorean embassy out of the U.K. seems unlikely, WikiLeaks has announced that if Assange wins and cannot return to Australia, a running mate will fill his seat. If he could get to Australia, however, it’s possible he could serve: The Australian government has cleared Assange of breaking any Australian laws (he is actually trying to sue Prime Minister Julia Gillard for defamation after she claimed his actions were “illegal”), though one assumes the Aussie government would comply with any extradition order made by the U.S. or Sweden.
He’s already secured one key endorsement: His mother. The Age reports that she had the following to say: ”He will be awesome. In the [Australian] House of Representatives we get to choose between US lackey party number one and US lackey party number two — between the major parties. So it will be great to ‘Assange’ the Senate for some Aussie oversight.”