Europe may have first leader tattooed from head to foot
The Czech Republic gets ready for its first direct presidential election to be held on January 11 and 12, 2013. Thursday, January 11th, was declared the so-called "day of silence" in the country. All nine registered candidates for the presidency ended their election campaigns Wednesday night in a series of concerts, meetings and TV debates.
According to polls, the leaders of the race are easy to define: they are ex-Prime Ministers Jan Fischer and Milos Zeman. However, the country still has a chance to vote for the most extravagant candidate in the history of democratic Europe. Fifty-three-year-old composer and professor Vladimir Franz, aka "Fantomas" or "Avatar" runs for the president as well. Ninety percent of his body is covered with tattoos and piercings. Educated as a lawyer, doctor of law, he is better known as a teacher of theater arts, an artist and a composer, The Voice of Russia radio said.
Noteworthy, every ninth Czech citizen is ready vote for this unusual candidate, according to opinion polls. Vladimir Franz has no experience in politics. He admits that he does not understand much in economic matters. The tattooed candidate promises his voters to observe civil rights, follow the path of democratic development and pay more attention to the development of environmentally friendly energy.
His election campaign targets the younger generation of the Czechs. One of his campaign promises is to legalize marijuana. Franz claims that he has spent only 25 thousand dollars on his campaign; he basically counts on the help from volunteers, social media and word of mouth.
"We are so mesmerized by our political system that we have lost the ability to think independently. I think that the Czechs are fed up with this crap," Vladimir Franz said in an interview with the AP.
The eye-catching and jaw-dropping appearance of the candidate and his equally expressive statements enthrall young people. Many Czechs, especially from Prague, the capital, are not shocked by his appearance. Quite on the contrary, they are prepared to give him their votes because they do not see a decent alternative candidate for the post.
In order not to infringe on the rights of young people, secondary schools of Prague conducted a simulated election, won by the adored composer. The tattooed politician scored 60 thousand votes.
Vladimir Franz himself believes that his tattoos are body art. His face is covered with green and red chaotic patterns tattooed on the blue background. There is a portrait of Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu on his hands, and his chest is adorned with the image of a crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
These elections will be the first direct presidential election in the Czech Republic. Prior to that, the president was elected by the parliament. There are nine candidates in the Czech presidential race. The favorites of the race are Milos Zeman, the chairman of the Czech Government 1998-2002, a leftist politician, who enjoys the support of 25% of the population and Jan Fisher, who led the transitional government in the Czech Republic 2009-2010, a supporter of centrist views, (he has the support of 20% of the population).
The list continues with: Vladimir Franz (11.4%), Karel Schwarzenberg (11.0%), Jiri Dienstbier (10.6%), Premysl Sobotka (7.1%), Jana Bobosikova (5.6%) Tana Fischerova and Zuzana Roithova - by 4.6%.