Is WikiLeaks Party's defeat an end of Assange's political career?

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The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who ambitiously launched his political party called "The WikiLeaks Party", ahead of federal elections in Australia that were held on September 7, lost badly.

Tony Abbott from the Liberal/National Coalition won the elections while defeating Labor party's leader Kevin Rudd.

42-year-old Assange, who took an indefinite sojourn at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last year, campaigned for a Senate seat in Victoria and had also fielded seven candidates (all of them were highly skilled researchers and activists) from his party in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

The newly-founded WikiLeaks Party had the distinction to be the first Australian political party with its leader not merely in an exile, but in a political asylum!

But much to his dismay, Assange failed in his bid for a Senate seat and could garner only 25,666 votes, or 1.18% and 0.62% of the nine million votes, although his party attracted students and youth.

In March last year, Assange announced his interest to run for this year's Australian Senate elections with an aim of supporting human rights, social justice and transparency.

Born and raised in Australia, Assange was expected to win at least 4 per cent of the vote, with an outside chance of winning a seat, by the pollsters.

During his campaigning via Skype, Assange said if elected, he would like his party members to act as "investigative journalists", uncovering dishonesty and pressing for an end to government and corporate secrecy.

The reasons that spelled doom for Assange's party could be the controversies related to infighting in his party and a host of resignations ( Leslie Cannold, a candidate from Victoria, resigned on 21 August and four of eleven members of the party's governing National Council also resigned).

Despite biting the dust in the recently held elections, Assange, while brushing off election loss, has vowed to contest next elections that will take place after three years.

Even after not getting good enough numbers, Assange said, "The WikiLeaks Party will continue for sure."

An intelligent thinker, Assange, who is wanted by the US on charges of leaking its secret classified documents and exposing of US war crimes, sought political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault charges.

Only time will tell whether Julian Assange-led WikiLeaks party has the capacity to grow amid challenges or not.

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