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Libs mount defence of preselection process

Gary Humphries and Zed Seselja in the Senate courtyard at Parliament House to front the media.

Gary Humphries and Zed Seselja in the Senate courtyard at Parliament House to front the media. Photo: Colleen Petch

The Canberra Liberals have mounted a public defence of the process being used to preselect the party's senate candidate for the September federal election.

The party has been under fire internally with allegations that the process has been manipulated to the advantage of challenger and party leader Zed Seselja.

But Party President Tio Faulkner has released statement today saying the process was fully compliant with the party's constitution.

The row centres on the rule requiring preselectors to have attended a party meeting within six months of the preselection vote.

Mr Faulkner, a former staff member to Mr Seselja, directly contradicted statements made in the media by the incumbent Gary Humphries.

"At the outset, I would like to confirm that the process in place fully complies with the (party's) constitution, and is the same process used in the 2010, 2007, 2004, 2002, and earlier, preselections," Mr Faulkner said in his statement.

"Senator Humphries sits on Management Committee as the federal representative of the party.

The Management Committee unanimously agreed to the timetable in December and Senator Humphries was consulted on 3 December about this.

"He raised no objection at that time, in the interim, or at any time until a challenger was announced.

"Senator Humphries said on ABC radio that the first he had known of the preselection date was in January.

"This is incorrect."

Mr Faulkner confirmed that the party's powerful Management Committee had rejected requests to extent the qualifying period

"The Management Committee will not bend the rules by extending the constitutionally stipulated six month period to attend a branch meeting," Mr Faulkner said.

"Indeed if this was done this would result in some members currently eligible becoming ineligible."

10 comments so far

  • Oh Tio - too bad the party already knows the truth. They also know that Zed spent all of December telling the media and Gary that he wouldn't challenge and he was committed to the people of Brindabella (including me!!), but he had been building his power base since he lost the election - a process you (and the right wing Young Libs) helped him with. As for the comment that current eligible voters would now be ineligible - you are again demonstrating your ignorance. Extending the period to allow legitimate faithful party members to attend a meeting doesn't change the current list, it merely ensures that everyone is playing by the same rules. The best things to come from all of this is that the ACT Liberal members who have been complaining about the lack of leadership from you and Zed can be comfortable that all of Canberra can see what we've been worried about.

    Commenter
    AI
    Date and time
    February 07, 2013, 3:23PM
    • How does extending the period (and thereby moving against accepted protocol) ensure that everyone is playing by the same rules? Isn't it exactly the opposite? You make no sense. Plus you make a few unfounded accusations in there, careful!

      Commenter
      Linnie
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      February 07, 2013, 4:58PM
    • Thanks Linnie - but they aren't unfounded. Extending the period allows the several of my friends who contacted the office in December to confirm their eligibility (which they've now discovered was a mistake, and due to this mistake they are in-fact ineligible) to have the chance to have their say.

      Commenter
      AI
      Date and time
      February 07, 2013, 5:26PM
  • Tio, Tio, Tio me thinks that thou protesteth too much.

    Commenter
    Irene
    Date and time
    February 07, 2013, 3:28PM
    • Hopefully whoever gets preselected for the Liberal Party will be soundly beaten by the Greens or anybody. Whatever it takes to prevent the Lance Armstrong of politics getting elected as PM.

      Commenter
      Bleeding Obvious
      Date and time
      February 07, 2013, 4:29PM
      • So Tio, Cassius to Zed's Brutus is it? Rally round and stab in the abck, eh? I hope there is a Mark Anthony who will 'come to bury, Gary, not to praise him'. What a scumbag set of lies and tricks. Perhaps, to switch the play, you will come to see "...what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive." I sure do hope so. The ACT deserves better than people like you and your two faced mate.

        Commenter
        ACT Terrier
        Date and time
        February 07, 2013, 5:00PM
        • As an employee, friend and strong supporter of Zed for some years, did Tio declare a conflict of interest and sit out the management committee meeting? Did other members of the committee who are close supporters of Zed (or Gary) sit the meeting out? Were there enough unconflicted members on the committee to reach quorum? In addition, consider that they were reviewing their own actions - not usually the best recipe for objectivity!

          Commenter
          Something Stinks
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          February 07, 2013, 5:05PM
          • Faulkner can put all the spin she wants to on this but we all know it was a STITCH-UP. Nobody in this house will be voting for Zed.

            Commenter
            JD
            Location
            Canberra
            Date and time
            February 07, 2013, 5:07PM
            • All done in accordance with the rules, but a few too many convenient coincidences for my liking. Zed will fit in well with the federal Libs.

              Commenter
              Russ
              Location
              Canberra
              Date and time
              February 07, 2013, 5:08PM
              • It smacks of a set up. Tio and Zed are stitching Gary up. Besides, why get rid of an incumbent when they are doing a sterling job? I hope common sense can prevail otherwise I am going the way of Katter, as will any one else I can talk into it.

                Commenter
                olfella
                Date and time
                February 07, 2013, 9:22PM

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