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Wikileaks' Assange to Run for Australian Senate Seat

Common Dreams staff

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has decided to run for a seat in the Australian senate next year.

Wikileaks made the announcement on Twitter yesterday. It Tweeted shortly after that the group would be fielding a candidate to run against Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her home seat.

Assange, who is an Australian citizen, is currently under house arrest in England facing possible extradition to Sweden over sexual assault charges from 2010.

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The Age: Assange on the run … for the Senate

First The Simpsons, and now the Senate. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to run for federal office, setting up a potential battle with the Greens for a left-of-centre quota.


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Mr Assange, who is under house arrest in England, facing possible extradition to Sweden to answer sexual assault charges dating back to 2010, will mount a Senate bid here, his group announced on Twitter yesterday. [...]

People convicted of a crime under Australian law that is punishable by a year's prison term or more are excluded from office, but the constitution is silent on the impact of any potential conviction abroad. It disqualifies anyone deemed ''attainted of treason''. [...]

Senator Ludlam, who has spoken with Mr Assange's mother, Christine, to raise awareness of the legal wranglings abroad, told The Sunday Age it was great news Mr Assange wanted to run.

''It's going to give the issue more profile and anything that raises the issues that WikiLeaks has campaigned on … can only be positive.''

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CTV News: WikiLeaks founder planning Australian Senate run

He's spilled scores of top-level government secrets, much to the chagrin of lawmakers around the world. Now, Julian Assange wants to try his hand at being a politician. [...]

In the past, the 40-year-old Australian citizen has aimed sharp criticism at Gillard for not protecting him against the potential threat of extradition to the United States, where officials hope to punish him for the release of thousands of confidential documents. [...]

Under Australian law, being convicted of a crime punishable by 12 months or more in prison can quash a person's presidential hopes for the duration of the sentence. Lawyers, however, have said that the law likely wouldn't apply if a candidate was convicted of a criminal offense in a foreign country. [...]

Australia's next Senate election can't be called before July 2013 and is due around August. Regulations indicate Assange can't officially register as a candidate until the election is called at least a month before the poll date.

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