A man dressing up as the dark Sith Lord is running for president in Ukraine. Can he win?
Following the ousting of former president Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine will be holding a snap presidential election on May 25. More than a dozen of presidential hopefuls expressed their intentions over the weekend. Among them is ex-world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, who later backed away to support businessman Petro Poroshenko.
The man wearing the Darth Vader costume is running in behalf of the Ukrainian Internet Party (UIP), an activist group known for its theatrical demonstrations. Its leader, Dmitry Golubov, said that Vader will be the party's official candidate.
According to records, the UIP party was registered in 2010. Its aim is to fully transition Ukraine into the digital age. That meant going paperless and offering free computer lessons to all citizens.
With a black mask and cape, Darth Vader, or the unnamed person, walked to the presidential election registration office on Saturday and showed a passport with the name "Darth Vader" printed on it. He also paid the required 2.5 million hryvnia or $225,000 registration fee to proceed with his candidacy.
Stunned, election officials launched an investigation to discover Darth Vader's real identity. After a grueling six days of searching, they found out that the man in the costume is actually a native of Kiev, working as an electrician for the National University of Food Technologies. He was identified as a certain Viktor Shevchenko.
Central Election Commission official, Igor Zhydenko, was furious about the incident. "This might look like an innocent joke. But this is no laughing matter. Someone was trying to turn the presidential election of Ukraine into a farce," he told the Agence France-Presse.
On Thursday this week, election officials dismissed the application of the UPI party. The Darth Vader wannabe got upset and insisted that Viktor Shevchenko and Darth Vader are not related. He is now planning to run for president in Russia. We wish him all the luck.