Julian Assange to run for senate seat in Australia, says report

The WikiLeaks founder is running for the senate in Victoria as the lead candidate of his WikiLeaks Party, says a report in The Age. Assange is currently in political asylum in Ecuador.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Julian Assange, the controversial WikiLeaks founder, is planning to run for a senate seat in Australia, reports out of that country say.

Assange's application to enroll in the election for a Victoria Senate seat was filed with the Australian Electoral Commission in Melbourne yesterday, The Age is reporting. His father, John Shipton, was among the people who filed the application on his behalf.

Assange, a native-born Australian, is currently living in political asylum at the Ecuador embassy in London, which has provided him a sanctuary from the Swedish and U.S. governments. Swedish officials have sought Assange to question him on charges of sexual misconduct. Assange last year agreed to meet with Swedish officials only if he was given a guarantee that he would not be extradited to the U.S.

Assange's WikiLeaks has become a subject of much debate. The organization has released a host of seemingly confidential materials on a wide array of topics. The release of U.S. diplomatic cables and war materials has put him in the crosshairs of U.S. law enforcement.

According to The Age, the WikiLeaks Party currently has a 10-member council but has yet to officially register with the Australian Electoral Commission. It's believed that Assange will be one of several WikiLeaks Party candidates running for office this year.

If Assange wins the senate seat on Australia's September 14 Election Day, he would reportedly tap a WikiLeaks Party member to fill the vacancy in his absence. If his legal issues are worked out, Assange could come back to Australia to serve in his position.