Darth Vader: Ukraine's Internet Party Nominates Him for President

Image: Darth Vader: Ukraine's Internet Party Nominates Him for President

Friday, 04 Apr 2014 09:01 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A man dressed as Darth Vader who is often accompanied by people dressed as other "Star Wars" characters, was nominated to replace Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych by the country's Internet Party of Ukraine.

Viktor Shevchenko, an electrician who changed his name to Darth Vader in March, forwarded his paperwork to the commission, telling the party's congress that he planned to turn Ukraine into a "galactic empire," according to the BBC.

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The country's Central Electoral Commission maintains that parts of Darth Vader's application were "questionable" and some paperwork was probably forged.

One commission member said they believe that Vader's application was meant to discredit the nation's upcoming election. Russia, which does not recognize the current Ukrainian government, could be behind the stunt, the member said.

"It may seem like an innocent joke, but someone paid ($227,000) for this joke," Ihor Zhydenko told the BBC News, referring to the deposit for the application.

The Internet Party that nominated Darth Vader is continuing to back him, however.

"After winning intra-party primaries by a landslide, comrade Vader will be our party's candidate," Dmitry Golubov, of the Internet Party, told Agence France-Presse. Golubov reportedly spent time in prison for credit card fraud. 

According to local media reports, Vader has demanded land to park his spaceship.

"I alone can make an empire out of a republic, to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country," Vader said in a statement, according to AFP.

The Internet Party officially registered in Ukraine in 2010 with the goal of advancing the nation technologically, offering free computer courses to all citizens.

BBC News reported that Vader is one of 23 candidates that have registered for Ukraine's May 25 presidential election.

The Vader nomination has brought some levity to the besieged nation. Russia annexed the southern region of Crimea and has assembled troops along the country's eastern border since Yanukovych left his post.

Yanukovych told the Associated Press this week that he made a mistake in asking Russian president Vladimir Putin to send troops to Crimea.

"Crimea is a tragedy, a major tragedy," Yanukovych said. "I was wrong. I acted on my emotions."

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