Assange’s Wikileaks Party in crisis ahead of Australian poll
Julian Assange's WikiLeaks Party was in crisis yesterday after one of its most prominent Australian election candidates quit, saying she was disillusioned with its lack of democracy.
Ethicist Leslie Cannold was the party's No 2 candidate for the Senate behind Assange. She would probably have taken his place in the upper house in the event the party won seats in the September 7 poll and its leader unable to return to Australia.
"Even if I stop campaigning this minute, remaining in my role implicitly invites voters to trust The Wikileaks Party," Cannold said.
"By staying in this role I am implicitly vouching for the worthiness of this party to receive the votes of the Australian people. I can no longer do this because I no longer believe it is true, and so I must resign."
The resignation comes after a debacle within the party over how it would direct its preferences towards other parties if it did not win a seat, a process that can influence how senators are chosen in Australia.
Cannold said others would also resign the party. After her announcement, Daniel Mathews, a member of the party's 11-person National Council - which includes Assange and his father, John Shipton - also quit.
Mathews, a friend of Assange since university, said he was sorry to be leaving under such circumstances. "I am afraid that my experiences with this party are not all positive," he said.