Opposition push Dotcom to drop Internet Party
Kim Dotcom's put his finger on his party's self-destruct button - even before it's even been officially launched.
And it's not the Government pushing him to drop the Internet Party; it's the Opposition.
They're worried it might take and waste vital votes that would otherwise get the Government out of power.
So does that mean they're offering to stop his extradition, if his party steps out of the way?
Dotcom just wants the party to go on forever, but if he is extradited to the US, it's all over.
If the courts here rule Dotcom must go, the Government of the day can over-rule.
So Dotcom's only chance would be if Labour and the Greens take power - and they are open to it.
"On the face of it - it looks like from the court process underway that the actions of the New Zealand Government may well have been legally flawed," says Labour leader David Cunliffe.
Russell Norman says he believes it has been a "political case organised by the US government with the support of John Key".
"Surely any sense of justice would lead you to the conclusion that we shouldn't go ahead with the extradition."
Justice Minister Judith Collins says she believes the Opposition are trying to pre-empt a court decision.
"Which I think is unbelievably irresponsible."
Under the Extradition Act, the Minister of Justice must determine whether a person is to be surrendered. The Minister has discretion to block extradition "for any reason".
And there's an example listed. Under similar British law its government blocked the extradition of hacker Gary McKinnon.
So could Dotcom's campaign against Mr Key be part of a plan to get a get-out-of-jail card with a different government?
Mr Key says "you can draw your own conclusions".
The District Court hearing is in July, and an extradition ruling will be followed by appeals and delays.
The election will be between September and November, meaning Dotcom will likely still be here if there's a change of government.
Dotcom's Internet Party got zero in the 3 News/Reid Research poll, but one in five said they were prepared to vote for him.
That could have meant wasted anti-Government votes - so much so Mr Norman went to the Dotcom mansion and begged him not to stand.
And today Dotcom announced if the party isn't a chance of getting in, "we'll self destruct and put our weight behind a party adopting our policies".
And it seems someone else has been visiting Dotcom – Winston Peters.
"I always tell the truth - and I'm not answering that question because it's none of your business," he told 3 News.
So it's party time in more ways than one.
source: newshub archive