Kim Dotcom Vows 'Awesome' Election Campaign Amid Accusations of Buying Influence
By Reissa Su | May 30, 2014 4:44 PM EST
Embattled Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has vowed to make New Zealand "awesome" as he announced last May 27 that his Internet Party will be joining the Mana Party which advocates for the country's indigenous Maori. Dotcom launched the Internet Party in January to advocate to focus on Internet privacy and government surveillance.
A Maori warrior performs during an official welcome ceremony for the Rugby World Cup in Auckland September 3, 2011.
The new party, called Internet Mana, is expected to increase their chances of winning in the September elections. The German native, Dotcom, cannot run in New Zealand because he is not a citizen. According to reports, he has donated NZ$250,000 to the Internet Party.
The Internet Party named Laila Harre its new leader and she is expected to set a coherent policy platform. She pledged to give young Kiwis a "future in the digital economy."
Dotcom wrote on Twitter that they were getting "ready for an awesome campaign." The Internet Party aims to "weave an awesome future" for New Zealand.
In Harre's speech to the media at Auckland's Langham Hotel, she attacked the national government. She also reacted to the deal between Dotcom's Internet Party and Hone Harawira's Mana Party and said no apologies are due for "acting in the strategic interests" of New Zealand's young generation.
According to reports, half of the country's young voters had chosen to exercise their right to vote in the last election and the party alliance of Internet Mana plans to give them a reason to care.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Key has accused Dotcom of "buying influence" and said he had nothing in common with Harawira and Harre. Mr Key said Dotcom might just be trying to place politicians to help him block his extradition.
Dotcom is facing extradition to the US for charges of copyright infringement and racketeering. He said he will give Kiwi voters the chance to change the status quo. At the launch of the party, Mr Dotcom said the Internet Party is for those who haven't voted before and felt disappointed by current political choices.He has been fighting his extradition on charges of Internet piracy through the now-defunct site, Megaupload.
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