Northern Territory Senator Nova Peris has decided to withdraw her name from the Australian Elections 2016 to seek for an Indigenous position with the AFL.
Her decision has pushed the Australian Labor Party to search for an immediate replacement for the Senate seat that is now left vacant by Peris before the July 2 elections. According to The Canberra Times, the Indigenous female figure has angered the opposition party by the sudden announcement of her decision to not recontest the elections 2016. This has left the party with a very limited time to have a formal pre-selection process to appoint a suitable candidate for the seat.
Peris, who is also an Olympian, released a statement on Tuesday confirming her withdrawal from the elections. “It is my intention that I will serve out my term and fully support and endorse my replacement for the number one position on the Labor Senate ticket, whoever that might be,” she stated. She was the first Aboriginal female who served the Australian political field and also became the first among the community to represent the Labor Party. “I certainly had challenges, but none that I couldn’t handle or was not prepared for, having already lived a very public and documented life,” she said.
While campaigning for the Western Australian seat on Monday night, opposition leader Bill Shorten praised Peris but did not specify any final decisions of her departure.”Nova Peris is a very strong representative for the Territory and indeed all Indigenous Australians,” he said. “She’s made history on the track and in the Parliament. I’m sure that Nova Peris will continue to make a contribution, be it inside the Parliament or outside of it.”
News.com.au reported that following the announcement made by Peris to quit the Australian Elections 2016, Shorten held a press conference. “I am very grateful for the time that she has served the Labor Party and the people of the NT,” he said during the conference. “She departs with my absolute best wishes.”