Mining Billionaire Clive Palmer Wants to Be Australia’s Next PM, Reorganises United Australia Party

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By Vittorio Hernandez | April 26, 2013 2:29 PM EST

All the past few months, Australian voters were conditioned to believe that the poll contest in the September national election would be between Australian Labor Party leader and current Prime Minister Julie Gillard and Coalition leader Tony Abbott.

However, a third Australian is aiming to be the country's next prime minister and is reorganising the United Australian Party (UAP) for that purpose. He is mining billionaire Clive Palmer.

He plans to run for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax, while the UAP will field candidates in 150 lower house seats and a senate team in all states and territories.

"I have no personal interest. I have made enough money in my life, I'm not seeking any enrichment of wealth for myself, I'm seeking it for the Australian people," Mr Palmer was quoted by Brisbane Times.

"I could go off and stay in Monaco, have a nice drink and forget about this country, but we've got more commitment to Australia and your children than anyone else," he added.

Mr Palmer is presenting himself as a viable alternative to Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott. He was a former lifetime member of the LNP but quit when the party publicly attacked the Queensland government.

"I'm fed up with watching Tony Abbott who is no different to Julia Gillard," the billionaire said.

The UAP was established in 1931 by Labor dissidents, and its leader, Joseph Lyons, became the first UAP prime minister in 1932 until 1939.

However, an election analyst gave the UAP a slim chance of winning the Sept 14 election.

"It's just a rich man's dream ... Politics is also more complex than business; it's about compromising, negotiating and understanding there are multiple view points. Business in about making a buck," AAP quoted Scott Prasser, political analyst from the Australian Catholic University.

Palmer owned Gold Coast United from 2008 to 2012 and owns luxury resorts on the Sunshine Coast and Port Douglas and plans to build a replica of the Titanic.

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