Julian Assange voices confidence on Australia election
Washington: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuador's embassy in London, gave an upbeat assessment late Thursday to his chances of winning a seat in Australia's Senate.
Assange, speaking by telephone to the US premiere of 'Underground', an Australian film on his early hacking days, cited an opinion poll that gave him 27 percent voting intentions ahead of the election on September 14.
"The chief bookmakers who are running bets on the election have my chances at greater than that of the Australian government," Assange told the audience at the opening day of the annual Filmfest DC in Washington.
"That said, the Australian government is doing appallingly badly at present," Assange said, referring to the political woes of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her Labor Party.
WikiLeaks, the whistleblowing activist site founded by Assange, plans to put up candidates for the election as Assange fights extradition from Britain to Sweden, where authorities want to question him over alleged sex crimes.
"It's a way of drawing attention to the things that we care about," Assange said of the election plan.
Assange has been living inside Ecuador's embassy since June 2012 as Britain refuses him safe passage to the left-leaning Latin American nation. The activist has voiced fears that the United States wants to try him.
WikiLeaks angered US officials through massive leaks of sensitive diplomatic correspondence and material on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The site this week launched a searchable archive containing 1.7 million US State Department documents from 1973 to 1976.