By ERWIN CHLANDA
Real estate agent and outspoken town councillor Eli Melky is joining a long list of Independents to stand against Chief Minister Adam Giles in Braitling.
Mr Melky describes himself as a “conservative independent”.
He says in a release a few minutes ago: “In times of uncertainty it is expected of all of us to stand for what we believe in and when necessary, present ourselves with integrity to serve the community.
“I, like the rest of the town, have been witness to the most bizarre undoing and implosion of the current liberal representatives over the past three years.
“I hold serious concerns that the backlash against a broken CLP by the Darwin electorates in the northern suburbs will secure an ALP Government. As history attests, the old days under an ALP Government were disastrous for Alice Springs.
“I will be that important independent conservative voice for Alice in Braitling and will ensure that a new government is held to account.”
Mr Melky says he opposes fracking and the “sell off of our public assets”.
He told the Alice Springs News Online that he feels compelled to go a step above local government.
He says if Mr Giles retains the seat but loses government, he would be ready to contest a by-election in Braitling “because I don’t think Giles would stick around”.
If someone else wins in Braitling, Mr Melky says he will continue to be a conservative voice in local government.
UPDATE 5am August 2
Braedon Earley, the president of 1 Territory, said in a media release that he is “delighted” Mr Melky is standing as an independent.
Mr Earley says: “Not even Mr Giles’s own Party could remove him from office, even when they had the numbers. He has bullied his way to the top and no one is capable of removing him, except the good people in the seat of Braitling.
“1 Territory would support an independent candidate in the seat of Braitling and if that independent is Eli Melky, then the voters will have a real choice in the upcoming election.”