Roma minority member of Parliament Veljko Kajtazi on Monday sent an open letter to Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic, who is the candidate for the Prime Minister of a coalition called "For the Prime Minister", accusing him of manipulating the poorest social groups for his own political ends and of causing disunity in the Roma community.
In his letter, Kajtazi recalls that the Zagreb City Assembly, acting on Bandic's proposal, adopted several controversial decisions only 11 days before the election, including a decision on free school books for primary and secondary school students of Roma ethnicity for the school year 2016/2017.
Kajtazi recalled that a part of City Assembly members walked out of the session in protest at the decision, doubting its real purpose.
"Also, such decisions have a short-term effect and you are aware that I insist on long-term solutions to problems encountered by the Roma community," said Kajtazi.
"Even though it would be logical for such a good decision to be implemented across the country and that all students, not only those from the Roma community, receive free school books - that did not happen," Kajtazi said, pointing to the fact that the said decision mentioned terms and conditions for the allocation of free school books, to be defined by the mayor with a separate decision.
"That separate decision is not a decision at all, it is your party's candidate Nura Ismailovski, who has been visiting Roma settlements lately and giving the most needy Roma packages with school books on the condition they demonstrate their political loyalty and who has been paying money owned by residents of Zagreb into private bank accounts," Kajtazi said in the letter, accusing Bandic of manipulating the Roma community and causing disunity in it.