Representatives of Serb ethnic minority councils in four Croatian counties in which a fourth of the minority lives on Wednesday sent a letter to the caretaker government, the president of the Croatian Democratic Union party as the likeliest prime minister designate and the media in which they wish to inform them "about the unlawful practice which the Serb National Council (SNV), a non-governmental organisation under Milorad Pupovac's control, systematically carries out."

The letter was signed by the chairmen of Serb ethnic minority councils in Istria, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Pozega-Slavonia and Karlovac counties.

The signatories claim the SNV was never formally registered as a national coordinating body of Serb ethnic minority councils and that it systematically presents itself as a coordinating body and receives funds from the state budget. "SNV president Pupovac then distributes them according to political criteria, ignoring the actual programme needs of regions," the letter says.

"The government is misled because there exists a serious conflict of interests, since the same actors appear in three roles, as political representatives of a minority, as leaders of the SNV non-governmental organisation which presents itself as a national coordinating body, and as members of the government's Ethnic Minorities Council, three persons from the SDSS (Independent Democratic Serb Party), which decides on the allocation of public funds for the financing of minority organisations," the letter says.

This is about the dangerous practice of subordinating a minority civil society and non-governmental organisations to one political party and one ideology, about abusing the power of a member of parliament and about the unacceptable practice of mixing roles in politics and civil society, the letter says.

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