Quirky News

  • 10 January 2013, 11:00

Tattooed composer in running for president

Vladimir Franz /PA

A classical music composer with tattoos over 90% of his body is a shock contender to be president of the Czech Republic.

Vladimir Franz, whose opera War with the Newts is currently at the State Opera in Prague, is running a surprising third place in polls.

Mr Franz has no political experience and confesses to having little knowledge of economics.

He says he only threw his hat in the ring after friends begged him to shake up the race through his shock factor.

But he is not short of admirers in a country where voters are increasingly tired of politicians they say are corrupt and who fail to deliver on promises.

Not affiliated with any party, he has campaigned mostly on a platform highlighting corruption and what he says is a lack of moral standing in the country.

Mr Franz says his tattoos are simply "body art" and that the election is not a beauty contest.

He is tipped to win around 11% in the first round - not enough to make the run-offs but he may end up as kingmaker.

The two leading candidates, former prime ministers Jan Fischer and Milos Zeman, would both be eager to pick up his following if the vote goes to a second round.