Libertarians nominate Chase Oliver for president, rejecting Trump and RFK Jr | US elections 2024

The US Libertarian party has selected Chase Oliver as its presidential contender after members dismissed proposals from Donald Trump and Robert F Kennedy Jr.Oliver, 38, who identifies as “armed and gay”, was picked at the party’s convention in Washington DC on Sunday after seven rounds of voting that extended for seven hours. Accepting the nomination, he promised to be “the only national candidate” – differentiating himself from Trump, Kennedy, and President Joe Biden – in the presidential contest and called for an end to the conflict in Gaza, declaring “stop the genocide”.Oliver’s triumph followed separate appeals to the Libertarian convention – held against the backdrop slogan of “Become Ungovernable” – by Trump and Kennedy for the endorsement of a party that could secure a considerable share of the popular vote to influence the outcome of what is expected to be a tight election.Trump has been leading narrowly over Biden in most national polls, while Kennedy – benefiting from name recognition as a member of America’s most notable political family dynasty – has been consistently polling around or above 10%, positioning him as a potential spoiler.Members jeered at Trump on Saturday when he addressed them, seeking their backing, emphasizing the party’s platform of individual liberty and limited government.“We should not be at odds,” Trump – the former president and likely Republican nominee – told the assembly, only to be met with a chorus of profane boos. “Join us in an alliance – that’s our appeal to the libertarians. We should collaborate. Join forces with us. You must join forces with us.”Kennedy, the offspring of the former attorney general Robert F Kennedy and running as an independent after initially vying for the Democratic nomination, received a more favorable response after promising to pardon Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower now in exile in Russia, and to drop espionage charges against Julian Assange.However, he was ousted in the first round of Sunday’s voting after garnering just 19 votes, 2% of the total. Trump, who was not an official candidate, received six write-in votes.In his acceptance speech, Oliver criticized both candidates, along with Biden.

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“Rule No 1: If you desire to elect a genuine political outsider, don’t elect someone with the surname Kennedy,” he remarked. Referring to the advanced ages of Trump and Biden, aged 77 and 81 respectively, he noted younger voters “don’t want octogenarians deciding their futures”.The party, which aims to be on the ballot in at least 37 states, secured 1.2% of the popular vote in the 2020 election.

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