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Better late than never for Palmer candidate

Clive Palmer launching his new Uniting Australian Party in Brisbane.

Clive Palmer launching his new Uniting Australian Party in Brisbane. Photo: Glenn Hunt

The Palmer United Party almost lost its candidate for the seat of Fraser on the first day of the election campaign, but confirmation has come after days of back and forth.

Chilean-born Freddy Alcazar is expected to be endorsed by the party on Thursday, following his near withdrawal three days before.

Mr Alcazar told Fairfax Media that despite his initial concerns, he was glad to be standing for “one of the most serious parties” contesting the election.

“It is exciting,” he said. “It is stressful, but exciting.”

The 46-year-old moved to Canberra 25 years ago, after being born into a politically passionate Chilean family.

Despite never belonging to a political party prior to his election, Mr Alcazar says politics is in his blood.

“I was born into campaigns from my parents,” he said.

“My father especially was very much involved with politics. My brother was a political refugee.”

Mr Alcazar said he also married into the field, with his wife’s grandfather a former chief minister of a Chilean region for many years.

His pending confirmation for the seat of Fraser follows an address by party leader Clive Palmer, who declared he had chosen 150 candidates to stand in all lower house seats.

The billionaire also challenged the Prime Minister to a national debate, following Kevin Rudd's demands for Opposition Leader Abbott to front up to a series of forums.

Mr Palmer said he deserved to participate in debates on the basis that the party would field more candidates in more seats than the Liberal Party.

“I say to Kevin Rudd he can debate me any time, any day, anywhere in the Commonwealth,”' he said.

“He's terrified because he knows he won't win the battle of ideas.”

In Canberra, Wayne Slattery will be standing as the party’s ACT Senate candidate, while Tony Hanley will run for the seat of Canberra.

Across the border, Cooma-Monaro Mayor Dean Lynch is challenging Labor politician Mike Kelly for the seat of Eden-Monaro and former Canberra Raiders player Glenn Lazarus is running as the Queensland Senate candidate.

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