Is This Man the Obama of the Czech Republic? Or Just Some Dude with Face Tattoos and Piercings?

hail to the chief!

Meet Vladimir Franz. He’s a composer and painter (including the face apparently) living in the Czech Republic and he’s polling in third place in the country’s 2013 presidential elections. He has no political background, a self-proclaimed deficiency on economic matters and no campaign posters. Yet somehow he’s managed to make himself a somewhat-serious contender for President of the country. How messed up does a country have to be that a dude with tats covering his entire face has a better chance of being president than several much more capable candidates?

Would you be surprised to hear the answer is not all that much? The Czech Republic actually has a low crime rate and since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 has become the 6th most visited European city. Franz’s (or ‘Avatar’ as he’s been nicknamed for–I hope–obvious reason to you) grassroots campaign is based around bringing objectivity back to politics in a system that he believes has lost its ability to take a look back and address itself. And while he’s still far off from the two front-runners of the race, Franz has a bevy of volunteers loyal to him and achieved 88,000 signatures on his petition to run, well over the 50k needed.

So while there’s still probably a snowball’s chance in hell that he’ll win, we wish Franz the best of luck. If for no other reason than I want to travel to Prague and get handed back change with his inked up face on the bills.