The high tensions surrounding the future of Ukraine following bloody protests and the annexation of Crimea enjoyed some light relief on Sunday. Boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko claimed victory in Kiev's mayoral elections but it was one of his rival candidates that raised the most eyebrows.
Darth Vader, Sith Lord and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Fleet – or someone dressed as the Star Wars character - ran for the position on the city council alongside Klitschko. The unnamed person switched to be a candidate for the mayoral position after being refused to be allowed to run for presidential elections.
The Dark Lord was the official nominee for the Internet Party of Ukraine (IPU) but failed to beat Klitschko and was even refused the right to vote at a polling booth Sunday due to his lack of identifying documents. The party's goal is to fight bureaucracy in state institutions and has been known for other publicity stunts. The website for the Star Wars imposter carried the slogan: "Darth Vader –- a candidate with a human face."
Despite this unusual distraction Vitali Klitschko, former WBC Heavyweight Champion, remained focused on the job at hand. He told CNBC that there is huge expectation for Petro Poroshenko, who is expected to be named the country's new president. Klitschko publicly backed Poroshenko back in March after initially hoping to run for president himself.
"We work as one team and it's very important to show the team spirit. Our main challenge is to destroy corruption, to bring rule of law to our country and bring our country to the EU because we are European geographically and we have to bring European standards of life for every Ukrainian citizen," he said.
Klitschko conceded that relations between Russia and Ukraine were still tense. Pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country rejected the change of power that took place in Kiev earlier this year. Meanwhile, the Kremlin has admitted that it was behind the annexation of Crimea and Russian troops have performed train excesses on its neighboring border, further heightening friction in the region.
Klitschko said that the two governments had to start discussions and had to find a compromise without the use of weapons.
"We need dialogue. It's the biggest neighbor of our country but we have to start thinking what happens in Crimea, what happens in the east of Ukraine, but today we have legitimate power," he said.