ACT Senator Gary Humphries, who was trounced at a controversial preselection contest on Saturday by late entrant and former ACT Assembly Opposition Leader, Zed Seselja, has decided to fight on for the number one spot on the ticket, pinning his hopes on an upcoming extraordinary meeting of the party declaring the preselection process “fatally flawed”.
Over recent days Humphries, who was endorsed by Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, has said publicly that while he believed the voting process was flawed and had precluded many of his supporters, he would cop the party’s choice of Seselja and step down after 10 years in the Senate.
This morning, in a shock turnaround, Humphries has decided to fight on, seemingly inspired by a belief that there had been foul play in the voting process before and on Saturday, saying that if an extraordinary meeting of the ACT Party’s Divisional Council sets the process aside then he will offer himself as a Senate candidate at the subsequent preselection.
He says that the passage of such a motion at the party meeting would, “be a clear indication by party members that they consider the original preselection process to have been fatally flawed, and that they wish another, fairer process to be initiated”.
“I have received many emails, letters and phone calls from party members deeply upset with the manner in which the preselection was conducted,” he says.
“More disturbingly, I have also received news from many party members who were refused the right to vote in the ballot on Saturday. These were members who had previously been informed by the ACT Division of the Party that they were eligible voting preselectors, but whose right to vote was ‘withdrawn’ on the day.
“I am saddened and shocked that the preselection has been so badly conducted that such treatment is meted out to Party members.”