BUNGLING by the 21st Century Australia Party has ruled it ineligible to run at the September 7 federal election.
Multimillionaire founder of the party Jamie McIntyre had accused the electoral commission of “gross incompetence” because the party won’t appear on ballot papers.
In fact, the party failed twice to show it had sufficient members to register as a party.
It was only when the party submitted its application for a third time, showing the minimum 500 members, its application was processed by the commission.
That delay has meant it cannot run as a party in the election.
It all began when the party lodged its application on May 2.
That application showed nine members, all from Victoria.
Mr McIntyre also sought taxpayers’ money to foot the bill for his party to run in the election.
Preferences would have determined the amount of funding Mr McIntyre’s party would have received.
His application initially failed to provide the requisite number of members.
Electoral rules prevent any party with less than 500 members being registered.
Just 419 members could be found as legitimate voters.
So the party resubmitted its application, this time with only 483 verified members.
Finally, a third application stumped up the requisite 500 legitimate members. But it is now too late for the party to be included on the ballot.
Mr McIntyre claimed the bungle was a “deliberate tactic to delay the registration of the 21st Century Australia party and… a conniving tactic by the Australian Electoral Commission, which is full of Labor Party stooges”.
“They realised [Labor] would miss out if my party was able to run in the election so they put a stop to it,” Mr McIntyre said.
A spokesman for the commission said the party could have saved itself several weeks in delays if it “took the trouble to do its own checks of its members’ electoral enrolment”.
In the registration document, the commission states it will take a “minimum of three months to process. If there are problems with an application the process may take longer than three months”.
Mr McIntyre, who is now standing as an Independent, said he was considering legal action against the commission and Labor.
21st Century Australia Party members have also sent letters of complaint to Governor-General Quentin Bryce and the commission over the issue.
Mr McIntyre said he will campaign on the policies laid out by the 21st Century Australia Party, in spite of running as an Independent.
“New England is still getting a democracy [because I am still running], but Australia doesn’t and the Australian Electoral Commission deserves to be sued and so does Labor.”
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