Vladimir Franz: Tattooed professor's bid to become President of Czech Republic

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  • Ink covers 90 per cent of Vladimir Franz's body
  • The professor has mounted an election campaign
  • He is aiming to replace Czech President Vaclav Klaus

By Kerry Mcqueeney

PUBLISHED: 11:06 EST, 14 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:00 EST, 14 September 2012

He might be a marked man but this artist has grand designs on becoming the world's first fully-tattooed head of state.

Despite ink covering 90 per cent of Vladimir Franz's body, he thinks he is the perfect candidate to become president in his home country of the Czech Republic.

Mr Franz hopes to replace Vaclav Klaus, who has been President of the Czech Republic since 2003, and has already mounted an election campaign.

Grand designs: Artist and drama professor Vladimir Franz wants to become the Czech Republic's head of state

Grand designs: Artist and drama professor Vladimir Franz wants to become the Czech Republic's head of state

His appearance might give an unappealing impression.

However the 53-year-old is actually a drama professor at a prestigious Czech university, a talented painter and a successful opera composer.

He also graduated from law school and has a doctorate in law but opted against a legal career because of the former communist regime.

Now Mr Franz, from Prague, is turning his hand to politics and has started a campaign to become the next President of the Czech Republic.

The wannabe politician, running as an independent, is travelling around his homeland in a bid to get the 50,000 signatures required before the end of the year to run for office.

And by Monday - after only his first weekend of campaigning - he had already racked up 8,777 signatures.

Contender: Mr Franz hopes to replace current Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus (pictured)

Contender: Mr Franz hopes to replace current Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus (pictured)

He describes himself as a man 'with a sense of humour and an inner relationship to nature who never ceases to learn and expand his knowledge and skills'.

The divorced father, whose Facebook campaign page has more than 23,000 likes, is confident the public will take him seriously and that he has a genuine chance of becoming the country's first publicly-elected President.

Despite his intimidating image, his politics are moderate, promoting tolerance, human rights, democracy and encouraging the search for alternative energy sources.

He told The Prague Post said: 'Politics, politicians and the state have become alienated from the people. Citizens are frustrated, and I fear radicalisation.

'Politicians and the state are not the same thing. They do not own the state, but should be its responsible stewards, hired by the owners once every four years.

'Those owners are the citizens of this country I think I have a chance, not only because I am non-partisan, but as a person without a tarnished political past and an individual free of links to financial circles and their interests.

'Gathering at least 50,000 signatures for my nomination will be a success, and it will bring hope. It would also be a strong signal that society is finally waking up.

'I understand I can be hard to read for many people, because until now I've only expressed my views through my art. Now I have to formulate them in a decoded language.'

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