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Female Czech MPs pose for calendar

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Karolina Peake, 34, Czech Member of Parliament, posing for the calendar

The 2011 calendar features four women MPs from the Public Affairs party wearing little in the way of clothing in a series of images that dispatch the traditional image of staid and serious parliamentarians. The country returned its highest ever number of women MPs at the last general election.

Two other women, one the party’s candidate for the mayor of Prague, make up the numbers, with each politician photographed twice for the calendar, which will be sold for charity.

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“We want to draw attention to the fact that we have women in politics,” said MP Lenka Andrysova, who appears in one shot in a thigh-high dress kneeling on a shelf.

Katerina Klasnova, the 32-year-old deputy speaker for the lower house of the Czech parliament, is photographed lying on a bed wearing a loose-fitting robe.

The Czech elections in May saw a record 44 women elected into the lower house of parliament. In a significant political shift, young parties such as Public Affairs, in which women have a stronger presence, entered parliament for the first time.

Public Affairs and Top09, another newcomer to the Czech parliament, are now involved in coalition negotiations to form the country’s next government.

“Women’s political influence is growing. Why not show we are women who aren’t afraid of being sexy?” said Marketa Reedova, Public Affair’s 42-year-old candidate for the Prague mayor’s office.

Public Affairs has previously used glamour to highlight its strong female presence. During the election campaign four of the women who appear in the calendar posed for a billboard poster wearing black swim suits.

As further evidence that few in the Czech Republic have qualms over spicing the world of politics with touch of glamour and sex appeal, in the days after the election the glossy women’s magazine “Ona” (She in English) encouraged readers to vote for “Miss Parliament”, asking them to choose their favourite female MP.

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