Monday, 21 April 2014

Eccentric composer Franz registers as candidate

6 November 2012

Prague, Nov 5 (CTK) - The supporters of Vladimir Franz, a painter and composer with tattoos all over his body including his face and bald head, submitted his presidential election application with the Interior Ministry on Monday.

The petition in support of Franz has been signed by about 88,400 people.

Franz, 53, is the tenth candidate whose bid was officially presented.

To be nominated for president, a candidate needs official support from at least 50,000 citizens or 20 lower house deputies or 10 senators.

The official act was preceded by a public rally in the Prague centre at which the Vladimir Franz Initiative "declassified" the number of signatures for his candidature.

Tens of Franz's followers were greeted by the composer himself. Then they set out on a march to a Prague metro station.

Earlier on Monday, the registration application was also submitted by the leader of the extra-parliamentary Sovereignty party and MEP Jana Bobosikova. She has been supported by roughly 55,000 people.

The deadline to present presidential candidatures expires at 16:00 on Tuesday.

Czech tourism businessman and senator Tomio Okamura is about to submit it tomorrow morning. He has collected 58,000 signatures.

The required minimally 50,000 signatures have also been collected by opposition Social Democrat (CSSD) deputy chairman Jiri Dienstbier, former CSSD and prime minister Milos Zeman (running for Party of Citizens' Rights, SPOZ), caretaker prime minister Jan Fischer (unaffiliated), former economy minister Vladimir Dlouhy (unaffiliated) and MEP Zuzana Roithova (Christian Democrats KDU-CSL).

The Interior Ministry must check whether the nominations are in order by November 23.

The Czechs will chose their president in the first direct election on January 11-12. The second round will be held two weeks later.

Until now Czech presidents have been chosen by the two houses of parliament.

The winner will replace Vaclav Klaus whose second and last term expires in early March.

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