Darth Vader has been barred from running for President of Ukraine. Officials appear to have concluded he was using a false name.
Vader had been nominated for the post by the Internet Party of Ukraine. However, the country’s electoral commission voted by 14-1 to reject his nomination, citing fraudulent behavior in contravention of election rules. He was one of 23 candidates rejected among the 46 nominations.
The main evidence for the alleged fraudulent filing was that the candidate submitted a passport to election officials, issued only last month, in the name of Darth Vader. However, other paperwork he submitted was in the name of Viktor Shevchenko, an electrician born in 1956.
If the nomination was intended as a prank, it was an expensive one: applying to stand as president carries a fee of 2.5 million Ukrainian hyrvnia, equivalent to more than US$200,000. It’s prompted speculation that the nomination may have been a crowdfunded attempt to discredit the election, with one theory even pointing to Russian authorities backing Vader’s run for office.
The Internet Party was registered in 2010 and selected Vader as a candidate “by a landslide.” Speaking at a congress of the party (clip below), Vader is understood to have promised to turn Ukraine into a “galactic empire.”