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3 October 2014updated 27 Sep 2015 5:30am

16 Darth Vaders are running for parliament in Ukraine

"No, I am your prospective elected representative."

By Media Mole

Just when we thought the tempestuous political situation in Ukraine couldn’t have an even darker side, sixteen men “named Darth Vader” have registered to run in the country’s parliamentary elections.

The country will go to the polls on 26 October, and will have a variety of Star Wars candidates to choose from: Yoda and Chewbacca are also running.

Photo: Internet Party

According to a BBC report, seven of the Darth Vaders, Yoda and Chewbacca were nominated for parliament by a movement called the Internet Party, which advocates technological progress and calls for an end to corruption. Apparently, the party is using the ease with which you can change your name in Ukraine to highlight the need for its aims.

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Photo: Internet Party

The campaign consists of huge billboards across Ukraine depicting the Star Wars characters and their political goals. Darth Vader speaks out against war in Ukraine, while Chewbacca promises to “slap the hairy hand of corruption”. The BBC quotes one Darth Vader referring to the blood the party’s “Stormtroopers” donated to sick children in June: “Now Ukrainian children will have some blood from fearless Stormtroopers running in their veins”.

A Stormtrooper giving blood. Photo: Internet Party

However, there is a more sinister side to this story. In April, a man going by the name of Darth Vader ran for the country’s presidency. His application was rejected by the Central Electoral Commission, whose officials suggested that the campaign may have been a Russia-backed attempt to make a mockery of democracy in Ukraine. 

“It may seem like an innocent joke, but someone paid 2.5m hryvnyas [$227,000] for this joke,” said an official called Ihor Zhydenko, referring to the deposit needed to apply.

And again with the current campaign, some are questioning whether it’s another ploy to subvert Ukrainian elections. The BBC reports a journalist Maxim Cherbina asking, “Who is spending so much money at a difficult time like this?” suggesting that the money has come from supporters of the recently ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Many are questioning where the money has come from to fund the Internet Party’s Star Wars election campaign. Photo: Internet Party

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