In a bloodless leadership coup, former National and ACT Party leader Dr. Don Brash has seized control of the Pakeha Party from its founder, David Ruck.
Ruck, who was leader of the party until 12:30pm this afternoon, was forced to abdicate the role after Brash, who had joined the party only this morning, was able to demonstrate that he had the support of the majority of the users on its Facebook page.
Since last week, Ruck has been in private talks with Dr. Brash about plans to transition the Pakeha Party from a fledgling Facebook page into a mainstream political entity, but those talks reportedly broke down when Ruck felt uneasy about having Brash as the party’s leader.
Ruck said his lines of communication with Brash went dead after Friday last week, but that he didn’t begin to suspect anything until early this morning, when he found himself unable to log in to administrate the party’s Facebook page.
“So I logged into my Facebook like I normally do, but I couldn’t get onto the Pakeha Party,” he said. “I just wanted to post some shit about how we’re going make this country less racist, but it wouldn’t let me.
“So I called up [co-founder] Ashley [Saergant], and I said ‘Yo, Ash, I can’t get into the Facebook page.’ And that’s when he told me he was supporting Dr. Brash.”
Both Ruck and Brash appeared together this afternoon at a hastily arranged press conference to announce the leadership change.
“I can confirm that, as of 12:30pm this afternoon, and with the support of a majority of those I asked, I have assumed the leadership of the Pakeha Party,” said Brash, reading from pre-prepared notes. “I have said to David, as I will say to you, that the Pakeha Party is a noble movement that has brought to the forefront of our politics a discussion that, until now, was only engaged in behind closed doors.
“It is my aim, as I steward this party into next year’s election, to help usher in a new era of full equality and non-racism.”
Ruck was asked by reporters why he abdicated leadership of the party to Brash.
“I didn’t,” he said, looking bewildered. “Look, I don’t know how any of this politics stuff works. Don just came to me this morning with a piece of paper or some shit, and he was like ‘I’m leader now.’ And I was like ‘Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck, how did that happen?’”
Brash nodded along as Ruck answered the question.
“Yeah, look,” he said, placing a hand on Ruck’s arm. “I think both David and I agree that this is probably quite a good thing for him.”
“No it fuckin’ isn’t,” interrupted Ruck, stamping his foot on the ground.
“He can finally go home now,” continued Brash. “He can get some rest, focus on his business, and we’ll take the rest from here.”
Within an hour of the takeover, the Pakeha Party Facebook page had already been updated to feature a large picture of Dr. Brash, along with a new page description warning followers that the Government planned to give all their Tangy Fruits and birthday songs to Tame Iti.
The official website has also been updated to more closely resemble the 2005 National Party website, and now features a series of billboards and campaign material from that year’s election.
Reaction to these events has been mixed, with some users welcoming the leadership change, and others expressing feelings of “WTF? whos this old guy? lame.”
Since Brash seized control of the Facebook page, it has lost more than 20,000 likes, and some commentators believe it may hurt his ongoing bid to become leader of the Conservative Party.