Gary Humphries will stand again against Zed Seselja for preselection for the Liberals' top Senate spot if the ballot is held again. Photo: Colleen Petch
Senator Gary Humphries will contest a second preselection if the result of Saturday’s Canberra Liberals preselection vote is overturned.
Senator Humphries wrote to the party’s ACT membership overnight to say he would seek the division’s number one nomination for the Senate if a new preselection process was called.
He is expected to announce his intentions today.
The Senator, who lost Saturday’s ballot 84 votes to 114 to former ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja, had initially expressed reluctance to contest a second preselection.
Former ACT division president Gary Kent has led a push by disaffected party members to have the process overturned after hundreds of party members were ruled ineligible to vote in the preselection.
The result looks certain to be challenged at an extraordinary meeting of the ACT division in March following a petition by party members.
In an email to the ACT division membership on Tuesday, Senator Humphries wrote that he had received “many emails, letters and phone calls from party members deeply upset with the manner in which the preselection was conducted”.
“More disturbingly, I have also received news from many party members who were refused the right to vote in the ballot on Saturday.,” he wrote.
“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informed by the ACT Division of the Party that they were eligible voting preselectors, but whose right to vote was “withdrawn” on the day.”
The Senator said he was “saddened and shocked that the preselection has been so badly conducted that such treatment is meted out to Party members.”
“I am aware that an extraordinary meeting of the ACT Party’s Divisional Council will be held soon to address a motion that the preselection of 23 February be set aside and a fresh one conducted, ” he wrote.
“The passage of such a motion would, in my opinion, 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 indicate today that if this motion is successful, and the preselection of 23 February is set aside, I will offer myself as a Senate candidate at the subsequent preselection.”