The Internet has been abuzz about Ukraine’s very own Darth Vader, who recently announced he was running for president in the coming election. Sadly, we’ve found out that the Ukraine Central Election Commission has denied the Sith Lord’s application.
Apparently Ukrainian election officials didn’t appreciate Vader showing up to the election registration office with a passport reading “Darth Vader” in Ukrainian. It took more than a dozen officials a week to identify him as a 58-year-old Kiev electrician named Viktor Shevchenko, reports AFP.
Vader vehemently denies he is Shevchenko. Voice of Russia says Shevchenko legally changed his name to Darth Vader on March 19.
“This might look like an innocent joke. But this is no laughing matter,” said CEC member Igor Zhydenko. “Someone was trying to turn the presidential election of Ukraine into a farce.”
Shevchenko, for his part, is the Ukrainian Internet Party’s candidate. The UIP was formed in 2010 by an infamous hacker named Dmitry Ivanovich Golubov. It’s clear the group also has a sense of humor. Ukraine’s Vader is known for antics like declaring himself mayor of Odessa and requesting a spot to park his spaceship.
As ridiculous as Vader’s antics are, the UIP does have a real, if radical, political platform. The UIP wants to offer free foreign language and computer classes to all Ukrainians and abolish all taxes, among other changes.
The party also paid the $225,000 filing fee to enter the presidential election, so the UIP either has a bunch of money it doesn’t mind throwing around or it has a real interest in running the country.
Someone (likely Shevchenko) has been representing the UIP as Vader since at least 2012, when he ran as a write-in for a seat in Parliament. Write-ins are not recognized as legitimate candidates by the election boards, but Vader still managed 3 percent of the vote.
Here's a clip of Vader reacting to the news of his application denial, he looks pretty upset:
CORRECTION: A quote about Vader's plans to run for office in Russia was attributed to Vader. According to Vader, CEC member Igor Zhydenko actually said it about Vader. It has since been removed.