What a political party can achieve for the community is far more important than the role of a leader, according to the federal leader of the Palmer United Party and member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer.
“It is very important for good government that parliamentarians representing any political party are not by virtue of their position able to dictate the pre-selection of candidates,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“Alex Douglas has had no role in selecting the four candidates announced so far by the Palmer United Party including himself for the Queensland State Election.”
Mr Palmer said Dr Douglas had sought a special role for himself and his wife Susie that was not provided for in the constitution of the party, to effectively veto candidates.
“It was made clear to him that the Palmer United Party could not allow this to happen,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“Corruption and the role of lobbyists will only flourish if such practices are allowed. Campbell Newman has been guilty of dictating to the LNP organisation and the Palmer United Party was not established to repeat a mistake like that.”
Mr Palmer said that having the Queensland parliamentary leader concentrating on parliamentary matters reassured the community that no deals could be done in the selection process which would compromise anyone’s obligation to the community.
“Alex Douglas is the nephew of Bob Katter and it had become clear to me that there was major conflict of interest. He is influenced by his uncle and on a number of occasions had sought to merge the Palmer United Party with Katter’s Australian Party.
“The fact is the Palmer United Party is not the Katter party and never will be, nor will we ever merge.”
Mr Palmer said a state parliamentary leader had a duty to be loyal to the party and its constitution.
“Dr Douglas failed that test by putting his quest for power ahead of the ideals and principles upon which the Palmer United Party was founded,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“His press release issued yesterday without any prior notice or consultation with the party confirms his inability to understand the safeguards of separating organisational matters from parliamentary roles.”
Mr Palmer said the Palmer United Party required its parliamentary members to put serving the community first.
“The safeguards established by Palmer United Party national director Peter Burke assures that only candidates loyal to the party and all that it represents can be pre-selected as candidates for the state election,’’ he said.