Accusations fly over Clive Palmer's PUP split
WAS former Palmer United Party leader Alex Douglas a hungry-for-power manipulator who aimed to drive its members into the arms of the Katter Australia Party?
Or is Clive Palmer a dictator who chooses his party's candidates from the ranks of his employees, family and cronies?
That is the choice voters have been left to decide as the fall-out from Dr Douglas's resignation from the state leadership erupted into a war of words yesterday.
Dr Douglas said executive selection, rather than party members nominating as and voting for candidates, was the chief reason he had pulled the pin after months of enthusiastically talking up PUP's chances at the next state election.
Those executive selections had progressed rapidly, Dr Douglas claimed, and included Mr Palmer's brother-in-law, his former footballer/helper, a PUP senator's spouse, Mr Palmer's electoral officer, his Titanic II director, his two nephews, his in-house solicitor, one of his staffer's husbands and his cleaning contractor.
The Sunshine Coast Daily reported yesterday those nominations included Senator Glen Lazarus's wife in the seat of Buderim, and Mr Palmer's son Michael in Maroochydore.
Mr Palmer, the Federal Member for Fairfax, would neither confirm nor deny if either of those would stand for the party.
Dr Douglas accused Mr Palmer of running an executive of one leading to a slide into a "single-person roadshow".
He has warned that Mr Palmer is showing the same contempt that the LNP had for its members when Premier Campbell Newman made all of its policies null and void, despite years of preparation and consultation.
In turn, Mr Palmer has accused Dr Douglas of putting himself above the party.
"It is very important for good government that parliamentarians representing any political party are not by virtue of their position able to dictate the pre-selection of candidates,'' Mr Palmer said.
He claimed Dr Douglas had sought a special role for himself and his wife Susie, that was not provided for in the constitution of the party, to effectively veto candidates.