Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks filed his official candidacy to run for the Senate in Victoria, Australia in the upcoming federal elections on September 14, according to a report from the Australian publication, The Age.
Assange first indicated his intention to run for Senate seat in Australia last year via a twitter message, which reads:
“We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained. Julian has decided to run.” — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 17, 2012
According to the report, Assange will run for the federal election under the banner of the newly formed WikiLeaks Party. His father, Sydney architect, John Shipton, was involved in establishing the party. Shipton, along with WikiLeaks supporters, submitted Assange’s application for electoral enrollment in Victoria to the Australian Electoral Commission in Melbourne, on Tuesday. He used his mother’s address in Mentone to become eligible to run for a senate seat.
Shipton said Assange candidacy for the Senate of Victoria is the “first step” of a political campaign that would concentrate on the “democratic requirement of truthfulness from government.”
The WikiLeaks Party is composed of a 10-member national council, but it is not yet registered with the Australian Electoral Commission. The members of the party’s council are pro-WikiLeaks activists and are close associates of Assange.
The Age cited that the laws of the Australian government allows its citizens who resides overseas to vote and to run for public office at home if they are willing to return to country within six years after their date of departure.
Assange indicated that a nominee from WikiLeaks Party would fill up his seat, if he wins the election and will not be able to return to Australia to fulfill his responsibilities in the Senate.
The activist journalist is currently in political asylum at the Embassy of Ecuador in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden and the United States. Assange is charged with sexual assault in Sweden. Last year, he expressed his willingness to meet with the Swedish officials if they will guarantee that he will not be extradites to the U.S.
Assange is afraid to face U.S. authorities regarding WikiLeaks release of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents about the wars in iraq and Afghanistan, and U.S. diplomatic cables.
Despite the controversies surrounding Assange, he is still a popular figure in Australia, and has a good chance of winning in the election, according to The Age. UMR Research, an internal polling firm of the Australian Labor Party indicated that the activist journalist is a strong candidate in Victoria or New South Wales.