Alex Salmond has encouraged his supporters and campaigners to engage in “civilised” debate during the election campaign.
Since the Alba Party was launched last week, two candidates have been criticised for comments they made online, with one referring to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as a “cow”.
Economist Dr Jim Walker, who is standing for the party on the Central Scotland regional list, made the comment on Twitter before the announcement of his candidacy. It related to a video of an interview of the First Minister in which she referred to Mr Salmond as a “gambler”.
Dr Walker was quick to apologise for the comment, claiming he was “mortified” by it.
Former boxing world champion Alex Arthur has also apologised after comments he made about Romanian beggars came to light following the announcement that he is standing for Alba.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, Mr Salmond said: “If we’re going to persuade our fellow citizens to choose independence, it’s not just a question of waiting to see the opinion polls rise in that direction, it’s not just a question of being prepared to face down Boris Johnson, it’s a question of winning the hearts and minds of the Scottish people.
“An election campaign articulating a case for independence with our fellow citizens is the greatest opportunity for that.
“Everything we do in this campaign will be to put forward a positive case for freedom for Scotland, for national independence, for independence for our country.
“We’ll be judged, as all should be judged… on the quality and positivity of our case.
“Every Alba candidate knows that, every Alba campaigner should know that, every blogger supporting Alba should know that, every person on the internet should know that.
“That’s what we’re calling for, a civilised, intelligent, positive, constructive debate about how we take our country forward to independence.”