Controversial Internet entrepreneur, founder of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, has announced plans to launch a new political party in New Zealand. Tweeting that it was in early stages of formation, he said the new party will contest elections next year in New Zealand. His agenda - improve the country's IT infrastructure, internet access and download allowances. Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key termed Dotcom's plans as a ploy to fight his extradition. He is being sought by the U.S. on charges of copyright infringement and money laundering.
Speaking to TorrentFreak, Dotcom said that a political program is already drafted and potential candidates are being met. If all goes to plan, he said, the "brand new party" will fight the November 2014 elections.
In the tweet that set-off speculation, Dotcom blamed a "whistleblower" for leaking details of his planned party.
The magazine photograph which he uploaded along with his tweet seemed to suggest that Dotcom might vie to become the prime minister.
However, without ruling out the option completely, Dotcom told TorrentFreak, "at least for now, that won't be possible."
"I'm not a citizen of New Zealand and therefore I can't be elected into Parliament myself but I can be the president of a new party," he said.
"I'm excited about the party and I'm confident that I can help make New Zealand a significant Internet economy player. Someone needs to lead New Zealand into the future. Unfortunately the current government doesn't know what the future looks like," Dotcom said.
The party is expected to be launched on Jan 20, 2014. It is the second anniversary of Kim Dotcom's arrest at his mansion home in New Zealand - where he was granted permanent residence in Nov 2010. It is also a day before his 40th birthday.
Born as Kim Schmitz in Kiel, Germany, he changed his surname to Dotcom in 2005 apparently in homage to the technology that made him a millionaire.
Though, reeling from the closure of the controversial Megaupload, his file-sharing service, TorrentFreak reports that, Dotcom's local Mega.co.nz file-hosting service is doing well and his popularity continues to rise, both online and locally with New Zealanders. He's being sought by the U.S. on charges of copyright infringement and money laundering.
Reacting to the news of Dotcom's plans to form a political party and fight elections, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was quoted in reports mocking Doctom. Key said his plan to launch a political party was a ploy to fight his extradition.
Ridiculing Dotcom, Key even suggested that the new party be named "the Nohope party".
Speaking to local media, he added, "It's like everything we see from the guy, he wants to stay here to fight his extradition treaty, he's got some very good PR people, we'll see how it goes,"
In reply, Dotcom tweeted a retort, "I don't have PR people. I'm just good at being myself. Try that Mr Key."