Carr declines to speak on Assange's plans to run for Senate

Foreign Minister Bob Carr
Foreign Minister Bob Carr

FEDERAL Foreign Minister Bob Carr has refused to be drawn on plans by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to escape his exile in London by winning a Senate seat at the September 14 election.

In an interview for academic news website The Conversation, Mr Assange told Professor of Politics John Keane how he intended to win a seat in Australia's Senate, even if he was forced to recite the oath via video-link.

Mr Assange will soon launch his own political party fielding a number of candidates.

In a swipe against Mr Carr, Mr Assange said he would be an elected senator replacing one that was unelected, a reference to Mr Carr's installation after the resignation of Senator Mark Arbib.

The election, he said, would force a backdown by both the United States and the United Kingdom, or both would risk a further diplomatic row.

To hold the seat, he would have to take the seat within two months or face eviction.

Julian Assange
Julian Assange

He told Prof Keane, "In that case, the Senate could vote to evict me".

"But that would trigger a big political row.

"Australians probably wouldn't swallow it.

"They've learned a lesson from the controversial dismissal of Gough Whitlam."

Mr Carr did not comment on Mr Assange's plans, but a spokesman said the international fugitive was "an Australian receiving consular assistance overseas".

"Whether he intends to run for Australian Parliament is entirely his business."

Topics:  australian government bob carr elections julian assange politics senate wikileaks

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