Vladimir Franz, tattooed musician and wannabe Czech president

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Vladimir Franz, tattooed musician and wannabe Czech president

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Vladimir Franz is not expected to win the Czech Republic’s first direct election to choose a new president. Round one takes place on Friday and Saturday.

Nevertheless, the composer and painter, whose heavily-tattooed body has at least brightened up the campaign, has been doing surprisingly well in the polls.

Franz has no political experience but many Czechs are fed up with mainstream politicians.

The country is turning the page after two terms under the eurosceptic and controversial Vaclav Klaus. The victor is likely to be pro-European and one of two former prime ministers.

Jan Fischer wants to make politicians more accountable.

His rival is another ex head of government and former Social Democrat leader, Milos Zeman.

Unless one wins an overall majority, a second round will take place in a fortnight.

The direct vote by the people follows criticism of alleged back-room deals when the president was chosen by parliament.

Tattoos and politics

  • UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill had an anchor tattooed on his arm
  • 26th US President Theodor Roosevelt had a tattoo of his family crest inked onto his chest
  • Caroline Kennedy, daughter of US President John F. Kennedy and an aspiring politician herself, had a small butterfly tattoo put onto her arm after being challenged to by her brother while in Hong Kong.
  • The mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, John Fetterman, wears his tats with pride. On one arm he bears the number 15104, the post code of his town. On the other arm there are several dates corresponding to the dates when Braddock citizens died in accidents during his term as Mayor