Dotcom's Internet Party and the leftist,
indigenous Mana Party, which already has a member in the
country's parliament, will form a new party - Internet Mana -
and put up a combined list of candidates in the election.
Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, was said to have brokered
deal but will not hold any position in the Internet Party. He
has the right to vote in New Zealand but cannot stand for
election until he becomes a citizen.
The ebullient internet mogul has been fighting a bid by U.S.
authorities to extradite him from New Zealand to face online
piracy charges over the now closed file-sharing site Megaupload.
Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar said the two parties
would retain their separate policies, with the Internet Party
aiming at young voters with policies of cheaper Internet, the
creation of high-tech jobs, and the protection of privacy.
The Mana Party's current member of parliament holds one of seven
seats reserved for the indigenous Maori people and has pursued
policies to help the underprivileged, attracting support from
some non-Maori left wing activists.
Under New Zealand's proportional voting system, a party must win
either an electorate seat or at least 5 percent of the
nationwide vote to get into the 120-seat parliament.
However, the 5 percent barrier would not apply if the current
Mana Party member of parliament was re-elected, with further
members being elected in his slipstream depending on the party's
final share of the vote.
A Reuters survey of six polls shows the center-right National
Party, which has been in power since 2008, with 49.2 percent
support against the main opposition center-left Labour Party,
which has 31.8 percent.
(Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
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