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Darth Vader Is Running for President of Ukraine

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Alex Kuzmin/Reuters/Landov

Ukraine, he is your candidate.

A costumed protester dressed as Darth Vader is running for president of the Eastern European nation. He announced his candidacy at a press conference Saturday, accompanied by guards dressed as Stormtroopers.

In an ominous statement, the purported Sith Lord promised “to restore former glory [and] to return lost territories and pride for this country” – a reference to Russia’s recent annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Vader is running as the official candidate of the Internet Party of Ukraine, which claims it has paid the roughly $200,000 fee required to register for the race. As its name suggests, the Internet Party has a history of pulling similar publicity stunts, though its leaders claim it is a serious movement with a platform of reducing taxes, eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the computer literacy of the average Ukrainian.

The Star Wars villain previously declared himself mayor of Odessa in 2013, though his rule went unheeded. A year earlier, he reportedly ran as a write-in candidate in parliamentary elections, receiving 3 percent of the vote.

Ukraine’s election was moved up to May 25 after a series of protests against president Viktor Yanukovych. Chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko is currently leading the polls (though Vader presumably finds his lack of faith disturbing).

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