Kim Dotcom’s entry into Kiwi politics has seen him form an alliance with a left wing Maori Party in a bit to win a seat in the country’s general election in September.
Dotcom’s Internet Party and the leftist Mana Party strikes us as an odd alliance. Mana already has a member in the country’s parliament and the new internet Mana will put up a combined list of candidates in the election.
Dotcom brokered the deal but will not hold any position in the Internet Party. He has the right to vote in New Zealand but cannot stand for election until he becomes a citizen.
This will be tricky as the US authorities want to extradite him from New Zealand to face online piracy charges over the now closed file-sharing site Megaupload.
Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar said the two parties would retain their separate policies, with the Internet Party aiming at young voters with policies of cheaper internet, the creation of high-tech jobs, and the protection of privacy.
The Mana Party has pursued policies to help the underprivileged, attracting support from some non-Maori left wing activists.
Under New Zealand’s proportional voting system, a party must win either an electorate seat or at least five percent of the nationwide vote to get into the 120-seat parliament.
However, the five percent barrier would not apply if the current Mana Party Member of Parliament was re-elected, with further members being elected in his slipstream depending on the party’s final share of the vote.