WELLINGTON (AFP) – Internet mogul Kim Dotcom confessed his brand was “poison” after his aspirations of bringing down the New Zealand government were overwhelmingly shunned in Saturday’s election.
The German-born Megaupload founder, who is wanted in the United States to face Internet piracy charges, established his own political party in an attempt to change the government, believing that could help his fight against extradition.
Dotcom, who accuses Prime Minister John Key of conspiring with Washington to arrange his arrest, enlisted high-profile fugitives Edward Snowden and Julian Assange to join his campaign by accusing Key’s government of mass surveillance.
However, accusations of dirty tricks and spies were swept aside in Saturday’s general election with Key and his centre-right National Party returned with an increased majority.
Dotcom’s best chance of being represented in parliament was through his alliance with the minor Mana Party but their sole MP Hone Harawira lost his seat in the swing away from the left.
“I’m sorry. I take full responsibility for this loss,” said Dotcom who is reported to have invested NZ$3.0 million (US$2.4 million) in setting up his party.
“The brand ‘Kim Dotcom’ was poison for what we were trying to achieve and that only became apparent to me in the last couple of weeks.”
After his brief address to the media, Dotcom later tweeted his congratulations to Key, “New Zealanders have chosen National and John Key to lead. I congratulate the Prime Minister. Please do your best for all Kiwis. Good luck,” he said.