Kim Dotcom party forms alliance to contest NZ election

WELLINGTON Tue May 27, 2014 9:00am IST

Kim Dotcom talks exclusively to Reuters during his Internet Party pool party at the Dotcom mansion in Coatesville, Auckland April 13, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Marple/Files

Kim Dotcom talks exclusively to Reuters during his Internet Party pool party at the Dotcom mansion in Coatesville, Auckland April 13, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Marple/Files

Related Topics

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - The New Zealand political party founded by alleged copyright pirate Kim Dotcom has formed an alliance with another small party in a bid to win a seat in the country's general election in September.

Dotcom's Internet Party and the leftist, indigenous Mana Party, which already has a member in the country's parliament, will form a new party - Internet Mana - and put up a combined list of candidates in the election.

Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, was said to have brokered 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.

The ebullient internet mogul has been fighting a bid by U.S. authorities 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's current member of parliament holds one of seven seats reserved for the indigenous Maori people and 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 5 percent of the nationwide vote to get into the 120-seat parliament.

However, the 5 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.

A Reuters survey of six polls shows the centre-right National Party, which has been in power since 2008, with 49.2 percent support against the main opposition centre-left Labour Party, which has 31.8 percent.

(Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.  Full Article 

Sony Cyberattack

Sony Cyberattack

Obama vows U.S. response to North Korea over Sony cyberattack.  Full Article 

Cook Out

Cook Out

Cook out, Morgan in as England ODI captain - reports.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Obama's Message

Obama's Message

Obama's year-end message to Americans: I'm not a lame duck.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Pictures 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage