Vladimir Franz, Heavily Tattooed Drama Professor, Wants To Be Next President Of Czech Republic

A presidential candidate in the Czech Republic is getting lots of ink -- both in the press and on his body.

Vladimir Franz, an artist and drama professor in the Eastern European country, is running for the Czech Republic's highest office, despite a visual obstacle that might be off-putting to some voters: 90 percent of his body is covered in tattoos.

His appearance may be extreme, but Franz is a well-known drama professor at a prestigious Czech university, a respected painter and a successful opera composer, according to the Daily Mail.

Franz, 53, also graduated from law school and has a doctorate in law, but decided against making it a career because of the former communist government.

On the much-inked, multi-colored surface, it might look like Franz is running a joke campaign, but he insists he is serious about winning, and believes his tattoos should not disqualify him from the competition.

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Vladimír Franz

"It concerns extending our horizon of tolerance," he told the Prague Monitor. "It is almost like skin colour that I have voluntarily chosen," he said.

As far as political platforms go, Franz believes in the European Union, but believes efforts should be made to ensure the rules don't favor bigger countries over small ones. He also believes in medical marijuana, but that those who smoke pot before driving should be severely punished.

As an artist, he is also a supporter of Pussy Riot and says the problems they have faced with Russian president Vladimir Putin prove that "human freedom is not granted" and protecting it is a "never-ending battle."

It's true that Franz is getting lots of ink, but, so far, the prognosis doesn't look good for him becoming the next Czech Republic president when the election is held early next year. The latest polls by the Prague Monitor newspaper show him with only 6.6 percent of the vote.

On the bright side, his Facebook page now has more than 25,000 likes.



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