Founder Julian Assange (photo) of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate while under house arrest in the United Kingdom, according to an announcement made by his organization over the weekend. The next election is expected sometime late in 2013 at the earliest.
Numerous legal experts quoted in international media reports said Assange’s current troubles with various governments would not prevent him from running for office in his native Australia. And WikiLeaks seems to agree.
“We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained,” the organization said in a twitter message posted on Saturday that immediately made headlines around the world. “Julian has decided to run.”
WikiLeaks noted in a follow-up posting on the social-networking service that it would announce which Australian state Assange would run in “at the appropriate time.” A separate message said the group would also be running a candidate against the nation’s far-left Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has been criticized by Assange and his supporters for failing to defend WikiLeaks and its founder — an Australian national.
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