Riding a wave of popularity among youngsters wearing badges depicting him as punk rocker, blue-blooded Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg is proving a serious contender in his country’s first direct presidential election. At 75, some see him as too old for the job, yet young Czechs love him, lavishing him with more than 500,000 likes on his Facebook page, while Mr Schwarzenberg’s campaign team rewards them with rock concerts. Mr Schwarzenberg is famous for a love of good food, wine, whisky and for dozing off in public during tedious political meetings. “I fall asleep when others talk nonsense,” he once told reporters.
Admired for his noble manners, the bow-tied “Prince” takes on tough-talking, leftist ex-premier Milos Zeman in round two of the election on Friday and Saturday, after scoring a surprise second spot in round one of voting two weeks ago.
Mr Schwarzenberg’s campaign includes his trademark eccentric touch, with pop art-style posters and badges depicting him as a punk sporting a fuchsia-pink Mohawk hairdo and shouting “Karel for President” and “Karel is not Dead!”.