WikiLeaks Party applies to register for federal election

THE Australian Electoral Commission has received an application to register the WikiLeaks Party, which plans to run Senate candidates in at least three states at the federal election.

WikiLeaks website founder Julian Assange, who has already announced his intention to run for a Victorian Senate seat on September 14, was not among the 10 names on the application form.

Mr Assange is currently holed up in London's Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for alleged sexual offences.

The AEC published the party's 41-page constitution online on Wednesday, with people having until to June 24 to comment.

Meanwhile, South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon says he has been forced to register a political party because Australia's federal electoral laws are "stacked against independents".

Senator Xenophon said he had reluctantly applied to the Australian Electoral Commission to register the Nick Xenophon Group after a recent ruling preventing him from having his name above the line on the Senate ballot paper if he had a running mate.

He will move amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act, based on South Australia's electoral laws, when Parliament resumes.

In South Australia two or more candidates can run for the upper house, have five words after the word "independent" on the ballot paper to describe the group and appear above the line.

"The current federal laws are stacked against independents running for the Senate, which is why there have only been a handful of independent Senators in 112 years," Senator Xenophon said.

"The South Australian system has worked successfully for many years. If such a system was in place federally, I would not be going through this process."

The AEC also received an application to register the Voluntary Euthanasia Party.

People will also have until June 24 to comment on these applications.


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