Clive Palmer today accused the Australian Electoral Commission of bias in taking a heavy-handed approach to individual Palmer United Party candidates over alleged discrepancies in electoral nominations.
The federal leader of the Palmer United Party criticised the AEC for intimidating individual candidates rather than formally addressing concerns at party level.
“We have jumped through all the hoops to become a fully-fledged party and we should be treated as such by the AEC,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“Any issues the AEC has over nominations should be formally directed to the party, not individuals.
“This heavy handedness by the AEC has been very disruptive to candidates’ campaigns and a prime example of why a two-party system has been allowed to flourish in this country,’’ he said.
“Australia needs a fair and proper electoral process instead of a system which supports threats of intimidation against individual candidates.
“They are killing democracy by making it as difficult as possible for parties with fresh ideas and differing points of view to stand up.
“This is why we have boring, contrived debates and keep hearing the same promises over and over again.”
Mr Palmer said the AEC’s actions had only made the Palmer United Party more determined to bring about change at the federal election.
“If for any reason the AEC refuses to properly process a Palmer United Party electoral nomination form we will take the matter to the High Court in the interests of democracy for all Australians,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“At no time has the party had written notification about any discrepancies, only the improper action of intimidating phone calls.
“I am calling on the Electoral Commissioner to put any problems he may have in writing so they can be properly addressed.”