IPU

Vader addressing potential voters.

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Despite all its turmoil throughout the past year, it’s a day for celebration in Ukraine as presidential elections are underway. Today’s vote comes after former President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office after months of protests. There are more than 20 candidates up for consideration, but arguably the most high profile nominee was deemed ineligible and had to refocus his campaign for the local mayoral races instead.
Earlier this spring, the Internet Party of Ukraine (IPU) grabbed headlines when it made Darth Vader its nominee for the nation’s highest office. The Sith Lord filled out all the required paperwork, had his party cover the 2.5 million hryvnyas (roughly $227,000) registration cost according to the BBC, and even received (and fended off) politically-motivated threats.

Candidate Darth Vader handles attacks without any protection agents. Ukraine Internet Party
However, Vader ran into a different staple of the political process—bureaucracy. As the BBC reported in April, Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) said parts of Vader’s application were “questionable,” calling some of his paperwork forged and declaring his identity difficult to verify. (Vader’s identity was allegedly revealed to be an electrician named Viktor Shevchenko.) A member of the CEC unsurprisingly dismissed the campaign all together, believing it might have been an attempt to undermine the elections. (According to the BBC, that CEC representative even tossed out the idea that Vader was put forth by Russia, since that country does not recognize Ukraine’s interim government. In fairness to the CEC, upon announcing his candidacy in March, Vader said “It will all end with a tick on the voting slip for the name of Darth Vader because, for the past 20 years in Ukraine, there has been a circus,” according to The Telegraph.)
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