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Internet Party to make election comeback

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017 Karen Sweeney

The Internet Party is back.

But despite not having a leader or president they're already talking global expansion.

In a "statement of solidarity" on Thursday the party revealed preparations were underway for this year's election campaign.

An executive by-election is scheduled for June 3.

Founder Kim Dotcom isn't involved in the party revival after his resignation from the executive earlier this year.

The party has not revealed any of its policy intentions but instead used the statement to express shock at allegations by Dotcom that murdered US Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was a WikiLeaks source.

"Both Kim and the Internet Party are long-term supporters of WikiLeaks, and we are certain such claims would not be made unless they were true," the statement said.

Dotcom made the claims on Twitter, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity: "I knew Seth Rich. I know he was the WikiLeaks source. I was involved".

He claimed to have evidence, while Mr Rich's family later alleged that shortly after the tweets Dotcom had attempted to hack Mr Rich's email account.

Dotcom has pushed a theory that Mr Rich was murdered for supplying DNC documents to WikiLeaks, though an FBI investigation has linked the leaks with Russia and local police believe Mr Rich was killed in a random robbery attempt.

In their statement, the Internet Party offered sympathies to the staffer's family and claimed support for Mr Rich was a two-way street.

"We are delighted to hear Seth Rich was interested in starting an Internet Party in the United States, and are aware of past attempts by people in Poland and Germany to create Internet Parties," they said.

"We expect that the Internet Party will continue to propagate globally in the long-term, as have other political movements like the Greens and the Pirate Parties."

The Internet Party was formed in the the lead up to the 2014 election, headed by Laila Harre, and ran in an alliance with the Mana Party.

Ms Harre stood down after the party failed to enter Parliament.

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