WIKILEAKS publisher Julian Assange will run for the Senate in Victoria at the September 14 federal election as the lead candidate of a newly formed WikiLeaks Party.
Mr Assange's application for electoral enrolment in Victoria was handed to the Australian Electoral Commission in Melbourne yesterday by WikiLeaks supporters including his father, Sydney architect John Shipton, who has been active in the initial organisation of the party.
Mr Shipton said Mr Assange's enrolment was ''a first step'' in a political campaign that would focus on ''the democratic requirement of truthfulness from government''.
The party, not yet registered with the Australian Electoral Commission, has an initial 10-member national council comprised of close associates of Mr Assange and pro-WikiLeaks activists. Its constitution highlights the promotion of openness and transparency in government and business.
Mr Assange has nominated his mother's home in Mentone, in the federal electorate of Isaacs, as his address for eligible enrolment before his most recent trip overseas in June 2010.
Australian citizens living overseas can enrol to vote as an overseas elector, and consequently run as a Senate candidate if they left Australia within the past three years and intend to return within six years of their date of departure.
Mr Assange has indicated that if elected and unable to return to Australia to take up a seat in the Senate, a WikiLeaks Party nominee would fill the vacancy.
Opinion polls last year by UMR Research, the company the Labor Party uses for its internal polling, suggest that Mr Assange could be a competitive Senate candidate in Victoria.