Parke says she did not want to be a distraction during the election campaign, despite her views being ‘well known’
'The Labor candidate for the West Australian seat of Curtin, Melissa Parke, has pulled out following reports that she told a public meeting last month that the way Israel treated Palestinians was “worse than the South African system of apartheid”.
Parke, formerly a federal member for Fremantle, said on Friday night that she did not want to be a distraction during the election campaign. The seat of Curtin was previously held by former Liberal party deputy leader Julie Bishop.
“I’ve had 20 years’ experience in international relations and law including living and working in the Middle East,” Parke said. “My views are well known.
“But I don’t want them to be a running distraction from electing a Labor government which will take urgent and strong action on climate change. That’s why I have decided to withdraw my candidacy.
“I look forward to working and supporting the party in other ways.”
Parke resigned as federal member for Fremantle in 2016, a seat she had held for nearly a decade, because she wanted to be closer to her family and spend less time on travel.
“I believe that renewal is a good tonic for our democracy,” she had said at the time.
She had been a human rights lawyer before entering parliament in 2007'
Read more: Australian Labour candidate Melissa Parke pulls out over Israel comments. Australia - owned by Israel