Roma candidate Veljko Kajtazi.JPG
Roma candidate Veljko Kajtazi
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP / dk

The Ethics Commission said on Wednesday that a Facebook post in which HDZ candidate Stevo Culej insulted Roma candidate Veljko Kajtazi was a "grave breach of the electoral code of ethics" because of "malicious accusations aimed at raising doubts as to the candidate's loyalty to the community and the spreading of ethnic and racial hatred."

Culej's post reads: "Dear Roma, don't believe a former officer of the JNA (former Yugoslav army). He is lying like a Serbian Gypsy and is not part of you, Croatian Roma, in the Croatian parliament. He is telling lies and working on orders from haters of Croats, which is not your programme of co-existence." 

Kajtazi reported Culej to the Ethics Commission, which also said that it could not identify the author of the post, although Culej confirmed to the media that he wrote it.

On Wednesday, Kajtazi sent an open letter to HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic in which he writes that he expects Plenkovic and the HDZ leadership to distance themselves from Culej's insulting remarks and to condemn them for the sake of the HDZ's reputation as well as for the sake of creating conditions for unimpeded cooperation in future.

Commenting on the insulting comments, Plenkovic said on Tuesday that no inappropriate rhetoric would be tolerated and that an apology was due.

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