Kim Dotcom Banks on 5% Youth Vote in New Zealand September Election

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Kim Dotcom speaks during an interview with Reuters in Auckland
Kim Dotcom speaks during an interview with Reuters in Auckland January 19, 2013. REUTERS

Kim Dotcom, the Internet mogul and Megaupload founder facing extradition to the U.S., is confident his Internet Mana Party will get 5 per cent of the votes in New Zealand's upcoming election in September. According to reports, Dotcom's political party is predicted to appeal to the young and first-time voters.

The Internet Mana Party conducted its own polls and results showed support of 4.8 per cent among voters. In an interview at a Wellington dance party, Dotcom said the result is more than twice its level in other surveys. He said his political party polled mobile phones and the Internet aside from the usual landline phone surveys. Dotcom believes Internet Mana is popular with the youth who don't have their own landlines.

The German web tycoon based in New Zealand has repeatedly clashed with Prime Minister John Key for spying claims and promised to remove the National Party from the government. Dotcom created his own political party, the Internet Party, and forged an alliance with the Mana Party ahead of the election.

The electoral system of New Zealand is similar to Germany's in which a party getting a 5 per cent vote is automatically qualified for Parliament representation. Reports said the Labour Party is considering Internet Mana if it decides to form a coalition government in the event of an election victory.

Dotcom has been hosting dance parties in New Zealand to bring his political platform to the younger generation. He said he is also targeting people who don't usually vote for lack of interest. According to Statistics New Zealand, 42 per cent of the young but eligible voters did not exercise their right to suffrage in the last 2011 election.

The Internet Mana party is advocating Internet freedom, faster and cheaper Internet, copyright law reforms and free tertiary education. The Mana party led by Maori MP Hone Harawira promotes the rights of the Maori.

Previously, Dotcom has declared he will "drop a political bombshell" on the eve of the country's general election. He revealed his plans on 3News during the first day of the Internet Mana party's road trip campaign on July 15. He said he will be in a Town Hall event in Auckand on Sept. 15 and invited everyone to come to hear his revelations and prove Mr Key has been "lying" all along.

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