peđa grbin - sdp stožer.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

Pedjo Grbin, a member of the Social Democratic Party's main committee, said on Monday said that communication in the party election for a new party leader has "exceeded the usual, normal and acceptable," and that it is necessary to get back to the point and party politics.

"It is absolutely unacceptable to slur other candidates in the party, particularly when senior party officials in the run up for the party's leadership are compared with fascist criminals. That sort of communication has to stop and be brought back in line with what is needed and acceptable for the party and the public in general," Grbin told reporters in parliament.

A true verbal war is being waged in SDP's election campaign. (Zoran) Milanovic's camp released a video entitled "Komadina and his animal kingdom," which portray Milanovic's party rival Zlatko Komadina and his sympathisers - Rajko Ostojic as a squirrel, Davor Bernardic as a dog, Tonino Picula as a turtle, Ivo Baldasar as a rat and Komadina as a sloth. On the other hand, in a comment to the press, Baldasar said that "Milanovic was an extremist who resembled Goebbels."

Grbin is convinced that this unacceptable rhetoric would impact relations within SDP after the elections but that it would not have any serious repercussions on the party's stability. "I think they still haven't crossed the line beyond which it won't be possible to talk and act in the general interest and I hope that that line won't be crossed," Grbin said.

Asked whether he expected retaliation against the losers in the election, Grbin said that he did not think there would be any retaliation, adding however "it's difficult to work with people who have insulted you." He however, does not expect the party to become unstable following the election adding that there will not be any mass exodus from the party.

SDP's Zagreb branch condemned the inappropriate and offensive communication between party colleagues during the campaign and has adopted a declaration of mutual respect. "SDP's Zagreb branch does not support street talk and hate speech, regardless of who it is aimed at and who it is coming from."

The party election for a new SDP chief is scheduled for April 2.

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