Kim Dotcom Launches 'Megaparty' to Compete in New Zealand Elections
The notorious Internet entrepreneur can't run for a seat in the country's senate himself, but he says he hopes to "activate non-voters, the youth, the Internet electorate."
Notorious Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom said Tuesday that he is making good on his previously announced plans to found a political party in his adopted home of New Zealand to contest the country's upcoming general election. Branded in the 39-year-old tech personality's usual style, the organization will be called "Megaparty."
Although Dotcom holds New Zealand residency, he will be unable to run in the country's election himself, as he remains a German national. Instead, he says he is simply founding and funding the party, with hopes of "mak[ing] politics exciting," by "activat[ing] non-voters, the youth, the Internet electorate," as he put it in a tweet.
Dotcom told the Associated Press that he plans to formally establish the Megaparty on Monday, the second anniversary of the police raid on his mansion near Auckland, which resulted in his arrest and the closure of Megaupload, the file-sharing service he founded, and which U.S. prosecutors allege was used to facility Internet piracy on a global scale. Dotcom is charged with racketeering and money laundering and has waged a public battle against the U.S. government's efforts to extradite him. In January of last year, he founded a second cloud storage site, Mega, but later stepped away from the business to focus on a music service and his political ambitions.
Dotcom told the AP that he will unveil his party website and a mobile app to register party members next week. He added that he will reveal Megaparty's candidates at a later date.
Dotcom's plan mirrors that of his fellow beleaguered tech-world figure, Julian Assange, who launched the WikiLeaks party in his native Australia in 2013. Dotcom is surely hoping for a brighter future for his nascent political outfit, though -- the WikiLeaks party took less than 1 percent of the vote in Australia's national election in September.