Warren Mundine Bows Out of New South Wales Senate Race Amid Criticism and Controversy

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Warren Mundine, prominent figurehead of the No campaign, has ended his attempt to secure the informal senate position in New South Wales (NSW), previously held by former foreign minister Marise Payne. The conclusion of his campaign comes after a grueling week of criticised remarks and shifting positions concerning indigenous treaties in Australia.

During a recent airing of ABC’s Insiders program, when questioned about the likelihood of treaties following a failed referendum, Mr. Mundine stated, “Yeah because then, on 15 October, if it is a no vote, that’s when the real work starts.”

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However, when requested later to elucidate his stance, the No campaigner shifted away from a firm position on treaties, redirecting the conversation towards “native title and land rights.”

In another unexpected move, Mundine expressed his wish to see Australia Day moved to a different date. This viewpoint starkly contrasts that held by many of his No campaign colleagues.

A potential conflict of interest seems to loom above Mundine as well. Evidently, one of his companies is committed to a contract with the federal government, a circumstance that potentially jeopardizes his eligibility to serve in parliament.

In the wake of Mundine’s withdrawal, former NSW government minister, Andrew Constance, emerges as the clear choice for the open position. Despite this, it’s believed there will be additional candidates presenting themselves before the deadline for nomination subsides on November 4.

Mr. Mundine’s political repertoire includes a previous run for the federal seat of Gilmore in the 2019 election, along with a term as the president of the Labor Party.

Andrew Constance has a history with the NSW Liberal senate vacancy himself, having previously sought the position after ex-senator Jim Molan’s passing earlier this year. Although unsuccessful in his previous attempt, largely resulting from insufficient support from the influential left faction in the NSW Liberal Party, it’s anticipated he will garner the necessary backing for further preselection.