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e-Democracy update - 16/8/06 - Iran's presidential blog, Wellington ICT, and US Republicans take fight online

16 August, 2006
By Daniel Macpherson

Iranian president launches blog amidst controversy

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has started his own weblog while being criticised for arresting and censoring several Iranian bloggers.

President Ahmadinejad's posted a 2000-word autobiography as his first blog entry. He also started a poll asking if Iranians believe whether the United States. and Israel were trying to trigger a new world war.

"With hope in God, I intend to wholeheartedly complete my talk in future with allotted 15 minutes," he writes in his blog.

Reports indicate over 10,000 people visited the blog on the first day it was launched.

Tehran-based blogger Keivan Mehrgan says the president's efforts are merely a publicity stunt.

"Ahmadinejad used to have nothing to do with the internet and even talked against journalists and bloggers before he became president."

Last year, the Iranian government arrested 13 journalists and bloggers, and were still holding five of them at the beginning of 2006, according to press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders.

Visit President Ahmadinejad's blog. (English options available)

Wellington to implement ICT policy

The Wellington City Council (New Zealand) has developed a new ICT policy with strategies to implement it over the next ten years.

The report focuses on three key areas: economic development, e-community building, and e-democracy participation.

Leading New Zealand-based community ICT researcher Andy Williamson has full commentary on the report in a special Australian e-Democracy feature found here.

The full report can be found here.

US Republican candidate attacks fellow Republican online

A United States Republican candidate has spoken out against a rival Republican candidate through an attack website in the lead-up to congressional elections in November.

Both Republican candidates Tramm Hudson and Vern Buchanan are running in the primary races for the 13th Congressional District in Florida.

Mr Hudson launched the website to attack his rival after Mr Buchanan accused Mr Hudson of being an executive for of a bank that misstated its earnings.

Mr Hudson uses the website to list details of unethical business practises relating to Mr Buchanan.

The Republican primary race is set for 5 September.

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