A 53-year-old artist and professor has his eyes set on becoming the Czech Republic's first directly elected president.
With his hair dyed blue, tattoos covering his face and piercings in numerous places, Vladimir Franz doesn't look like a typical, clean-shaven, smooth-talking politician.
"I think I have a chance. Not only because I am nonpartisan but as a person without a tarnished political past," the New York Daily News quoted Franz, as saying.
Franz, whose body- almost 90 percent of it - is marked with intricate tribal tattoos, insists that he is not an eccentric.
"This is about the adult tolerance of people, and my tattoos should not be perceived as a handicap, but as an added value," said the award-winning painter, musician, and composer.
Although Franz has a law degree under his belt, he has spent most of his life expressing his opinions through art. He is currently a professor at the Prague Film Academy.
Franz's seven competitors in the presidential campaign are senators, former prime ministers, members of the European Parliament and other powerful Czech political players.
Franz needs 50,000 signatures before the end of the year in order to run as an independent candidate. As of November, he has collected 88,400.
Franz said that politics in the Czech Republic has become such an "embarrassment," he felt compelled to run for the presidency.
"The benefit is that I am not burdened by inter-partisan games and backroom dealings," Franz said.
Czech citizens will choose their first directly elected president in January 2013. Previously, the Parliament was responsible for that decision. (ANI)