People holds up placards supporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as thousands of Australians rally around the country in protest, in Melbourne.
Julian Assange’s new political party is open for membership, WikiLeaks announced on Twitter on Saturday. The party must enlist 500 dues-paying members to officially register with the Australian Electoral Commission.
The WikiLeaks party was created as part of Assange’s bid to become an Australian senator in September 2013 elections in Victoria State. At the moment the party has an initial 10-member national council, consisting of supporters and close associates of Assange and pro-WikiLeaks activists, but it also has to attract 500 fee-paying members required to be registered.
The Twitter post calling on Australians to join the WikiLeaks party suggests its newly-created website is still being tested, although an online membership form is already available.
Joining the WikiLeaks party founding crowd takes filling out at least 8 fields of personal information, mandatory for membership application, and also paying a $20 fee.
The website also has the constitution of the WikiLeaks Party available online. Among its priorities it cites “the protection of human rights and freedoms; transparency of governmental and corporate action, policy and information; recognition of the need for equality between generations; and support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination”.
WikiLeaks announced its founder and leader Julian Assange was planning to run for a seat in the Australian Senate a year ago. He submitted his application to the Australian Electoral Commission and had his political party incorporated in Australia in February.
The whistleblower is hoping that if he is elected, the US and Britain might stop their persecution of him for fear of diplomatic row.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 2012, after claiming asylum in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on sexual assault allegations.
The founder of the whistleblowing website believes once in Sweden, he could then be extradited to the United States, where according to his lawyers he is likely to face trial and possibly even death penalty for the release of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.
If elected Australian Senator, Assange might still not be able to be physically present at the Australian senate as he might still be trapped in London’s Ecuadorean embassy. British authorities have vowed to detain him if he steps foot outside of the embassy in light of the European Arrest Warrant issued against him.
Thus, Wikileaks founder does not rule out the possibility, that if he wins election and is unable to return to Australia, a WikiLeaks Party nominee could fill his seat in the Senate.