WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in custody in London on rape charges, has won an online vote to be Time magazine’s Person of the Year, amid continuous leak of thousands of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables by his whistle-blower website.
The 39-year-old Australian secured 382,020 votes, which gave him an easy first place, while U.S. President Barack Obama was in the sixth position with 27,478 votes.
Mr. Assange received 148,383 votes more than Recep Tayyip Ergodan, Prime Minister of Turkey, who stood second with a score of 233,638.
Pop star Lady Gaga was third with 146,378 votes, according to the magazine, which said that its editors, who choose the actual Person of the Year, reserve the right to disagree with the results of the online poll.
The magazine’s editorial choice of Person of the Year will be unveiled on Wednesday.
The annual online vote asks readers to choose the most influential person, people or things from the previous year.
In the online poll, readers voted a total of 1,249,425 times.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was Time’s “Person of the Year” in 2009.
Mr. Assange is currently in a London jail awaiting further hearings on his possible extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.
Based on readers’ vote, the top ten people of the year are Mr. Assange, Mr. Ergodan, Lady Gaga, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Glenn Beck, Mr. Obama, Steve Jobs, the Chilean Miners, the Unemployed American and Mark Zuckerberg.