Assange makes bid for Australian senate

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is delivering on his promise to run for  the Australian Senate, applying for the Victorial electoral roll.

His supporters have lodged a signed application – the equivalent of voter registration in the US – with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), using his mother’s address in Mentone.

Assange will run on behalf of the WikiLeaks party, announced last year. A ten-member national council will be convened within a week and will start collecting members to register the party – it needs to find 500 of them to qualify.

“They are people who are close associates, academics, specialists in their field and activists as well,” WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance (WACA) spokeswoman Sam Castro told The Australian.

Assange announced his plans to run for the Senate last year after discovering that his detainment and long period living abroad didn’t disbar him. Actually taking up his seat if elected might be trickier: it wouldn’t be easy, after all, to participate in government from his current base at the Ecuadorian embassy in London,

If he is elected, but unable to turn up, Castro says the party will pick someone to take his place. “My understanding is… the party can nominate another person if a candidate is unable to take their seat,” she says.

The federal election takes place on September 14. Opinion polls have, perhaps surprisingly, indicated that Assange has a good chance of success. Last summer, a survey of 1,000 Australian voters by UMR Research found that a quarter would consider voting for him.