The presidential elections in the Czech Republic have taken a new twist: a group of musicians has begun an initiative to promote the internationally famous Czech pop singer Karel Gott for president. Their main intention is to highlight the farcical inability of Czech politicians to elect a new head of state.
Three Czech musicians - Ales Brichta, Lou Fananek Hagen and Petr Peceny - presented their initiative "Karel Gott - president" on Wednesday at the aptly named Prague bar Solid Uncertainty. But Karel Gott's intentions are not entirely clear. The musicians read a statement in which the legendary crooner expressed his hope that Czech politicians would elect a head of state in a third election in parliament, thereby sparing him the dilemma of deciding whether or not to run for president. But Karel Gott has since told the Czech newspaper Lidove noviny that he does not want to run for president.
Karel Gott has sold 27 million records during his forty year-career, and is hugely popular not only in the Czech Republic, but also in other parts of Europe, including Germany and Russia. I spoke to one of the musicians behind the "Karel Gott - president" initiative, rocker Ales Brichta, and asked him: why Karel Gott for president?
"We think that we now have great problems with our politicians. And we mean that the situation now looks like a little tragedy for our nation. And that's why, when we can vote for a president directly, we think that Karel Gott has a good chance to be elected, because he is a person who is well-known not only in our country but also abroad. And that's why he is a person who can represent our state well to all of the world. We think that his name is so well-known to the whole nation that he can be the winner in this presidential campaign."
And how serious is your campaign?
"I mean, it's serious because all of the politics now is not serious. And most of the nation is a little angry that the situation in the parliament is the way it is now. That's why it's not a joke, not some happening. It's our reaction to the situation which now exists in the Czech Republic and in the presidential campaign."
And how has Karel Gott reacted to this?
"Karel Gott has said that if there is a direct vote for the president of our country, he will think about his candidature. And he said that now it is not the time, because now we have no chance to speak about the direct vote. When this situation exists, he will say, OK, I will think about my candidature."
The kebab squad
New style brainstorming marathon comes up with ideas for Prague metro system
Migrants biggest factor in rise in Czech population
Prague Jewish community celebrates new Torah scrolls
Ignoring refugee plight “tragedy and crime”, says Ai Weiwei ahead of opening of huge new work in Prague