First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said there are “significant questions” about Alex Salmond’s political comeback.
Her comments came after Mr Salmond revealed he would be among the new Alba Party’s regional list candidates.
The former first minister said his aim was to build “a supermajority for independence” after the May election.
In response, the Scottish Conservatives wrote to Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats and urged them to work together.
But Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar accused the party of playing games and added: “This election cannot be about an SNP psychodrama.”
And Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chairman Alistair Carmichael insisted that the politics of Tory leader Douglas Ross were “far too dark and divisive”.
As the news of the new party broke on Friday, other Holyrood leaders questioned Mr Salmond’s character.
Speaking on the campaign trail on Saturday, Ms Sturgeon said: “I take no pleasure whatsoever in saying this but I think there are significant questions about the appropriateness of his return to public office given the concerns that have been raised about his behaviour previously but that’s for voters to judge and decide.
“This is an election. We live in a democracy. For my part, in this campaign, I am focused on the interests of the country.”
She added that the Covid pandemic and its consequences made this “probably the most serious election in any of our lifetimes”.
Asked about Mr Salmond’s vision of securing a “supermajority”, Ms Sturgeon said: “I know Alex Salmond very well. He makes big claims which often don’t stand up to scrutiny.”
The first minister added her predecessor has changed his mind on how to secure independence due to “self interest and, dare I say it, ego”.
She added: “Alex Salmond is a gambler. It is what he enjoys doing. But this is not the time to gamble with the future of the country.”
News Source: BBC News