By Sara Malm With no political experience and little knowledge of economics, performing arts professor Vladimir Franz was already an unlikely candidate for the Czech Republic presidential election. The fact that 90 per cent of his body is covered in tattoos makes it even more surprising that not only is he standing for election – [...]

Sunday Times 2

Tattooed professor in race to be Czech president

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By Sara Malm

With no political experience and little knowledge of economics, performing arts professor Vladimir Franz was already an unlikely candidate for the Czech Republic presidential election.

The fact that 90 per cent of his body is covered in tattoos makes it even more surprising that not only is he standing for election – he currently stands third in the polls.

Next Czech president: Vladimir Franz

One in nine voters are believed to be planning on backing the 53-year-old opera composer and painter in this weekend’s presidential elections after a £15,000 election campaign that didn’t even include posters.

In a country where voters are increasingly tired of corrupt politicians who, they say, fail to keep promises more than two decades after the fall of communism, Mr Franz’s agenda of promoting human rights, democracy and green energy policies has made an impact. ‘The (political) system is so enchanted with itself that it has lost the ability to self-reflect,’ he said in an interview yesterday.†

‘Czechs are fed up with this c**p.’ †Mr Franz says he only threw his hat in the ring after a group of admirers established the Franz for President initiative and begged him to shake up the race through his shock factor.

But he’s stirred up such goodwill that a leading economist offered his services for free and his campaign workers are also volunteers.

He’s only spent £15,575 ($25,000) from donations on his campaign and hasn’t put up any posters.
Not affiliated with any party, he has campaigned mostly on a platform highlighting graft, the importance of education and the nation’s moral standing.

© Daily Mail, London




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