Published time: 20 Apr, 2017 08:13Edited time: 20 Apr, 2017 08:14
Julian Assange has announced that he may run in the UK’s June snap election, mocking the country that the UN says is holding him in arbitrary detention.
On his Twitter feed on Wednesday, WikiLeaks’ co-founder asked his followers whether he should seek a seat on the green benches and received a mostly positive response.
Assange is a citizen of Australia, which is a Commonwealth member state, meaning he could be elected as an MP. In order to run, he would be required to secure the support of ten parliamentary electors in the constituency he would seek to represent and submit a £500 ($640) deposit along with the paperwork.
That process may be somewhat challenging for the anti-secrecy campaigner, as faces arrest if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange has been stranded there since 2012, protected by the Latin American nation from extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors want to question the Australian in connection with sex-related allegations against him.
Assange believes his situation is part of a US effort to prosecute him for publishing classified American documents through WikiLeaks. CIA Director Mike Pompeo is the latest senior US official to excoriate WikiLeaks and its personnel, calling them “demons” last week.
Last year, a UN panel ruled that Assange is being kept in arbitrary detention, but the UK and Sweden rejected its decision and have refused to back off on their aggressive legal pursuit.
Australian media giant Fairfax asked Assange whether he was genuinely considering becoming a British MP, to which he replied:
“(I’m) seriously considering how much fun it might be to slap the powder off their stuck-up, class-bound noses.”
If he did run and win a seat, he would likely have trouble voting on legislation, as it would require him to somehow get to Westminster. On the bright side, British MPs are not obliged to attend sessions in person.