Wikileaks founder Assange launches party to contest Australia polls
SYDNEY (AFP) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday officially launched his political party to contest Australian elections this year, saying a victory for his candidates would be akin to planting the country's "best investigative journalists" in the Senate.
Mr Assange, the Australian founder of the whistleblowing website, said the WikiLeaks Party would field seven candidates for upper house Senate seats in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
Despite being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than a year, the 42-year-old will run in Victoria, saying he planned to be "an independent scrutineer of government activity".
"WikiLeaks Party's core values of transparency, accountability and justice are the template against which we will examine any important issues for Australians: tax reform, asylum-seekers, climate change policy and more," he said in an opinion piece in The Australian newspaper.