Former VUWSA President Nick Kelly last week announced his intention to run for mayor of Wellington.
Kelly was President of VUWSA last year, and ran for re-election in the 2006 general election – defeated by President Geoff Hayward by 159 votes.
Kelly blamed the manipulation of the Labour government, both nationally and in student politics for his defeat in his second-to-last Salient President’s Column.
“Just as Labour have done nationally, in this year’s VUWSA elections Vic Labour ran a dirty campaign full of personal attacks, spin, and manipulated issues from the 2006 VUWSA exec to their advantage,” wrote Kelly, who referred to Vic Labour, ACT and National as “capitalist forces”.
Kelly, now a bus driver, says he is running for mayor to “put forward an alternative platform to that of our capitalist leaders.” Kelly says the Workers’ Party has a campaign to get 500 party members, so it can stand in the 2008 general election.
Issues Kelly wants to highlight are those particularly affecting students and workers, including the cost of living and transport, as well as making “Wellington a city that is run by the people for the people, not for business profit.”
He says “this is a serious campaign, and we are serious about contesting this election. But win or lose, our goal is to help build the socialist left and fight to end the capitalist system.”
Kelly ran for mayor of Upper Hutt in 2004, defeated by Wayne Guppy who won 95% of the 11,000 votes cast.