Photo: Atdhe Mulla

Prizren mayoral candidates debate heritage and economic development

The eight mayoral candidates for Prizren gathered on #DebatPernime to present their promises for transforming Prizren’s health, education, economic, and cultural heritage sectors.

During a debate moderated by Jeta Xharra on RTV 21, #DebatPernime, eight mayoral candidates for the municipality of Prizren revealed their programs and argued amongst each other about getting the city out of its decrepit state.

All mayor candidates were present: Emilija Redzepi of NDS, Hatim Baxhaku of LDK, Lulzim Kabashi of AAK, Mytaher Haskuka of Vetevendosje, Nexhmedin Ramadani of Fjala, Osman Krasniqi of AKR, Shaqir Totaj of PDK, and Veton Qipa of Alternativa.

The current mayor, Ramadan Muja, from the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, who was found guilty for abuse of office, is not in the running. Fellow party member Shaqir Totaj is running in his stead, promising that he will have a different team from the controversial mayor.

This makes Prizren’s competition for the October 22 elections one of the most important of all Kosovo municipalities.

Totaj said that he has a plan with 17 points and 55 promises.

“We will have economic development and create a fund of two million euros. We will give a boost to employment for women and youth,” Totaj promised.

Meanwhile, Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, candidate Hatim Baxhaku promised “a civil government” and threw jibes at his PDK and Vetevendosje rivals.

“As LDK we will offer Prizren an entirely new culture. The city of Prizren right now has three offers: a Pronto government, a teargas offer, and an offer for a civil government,” Baxhaku said, referring to the ‘Pronto’ affair and the opposition’s use of teargas to disrupt parliament.

Rival Lulzim Kabashi from the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, promised 5,000 jobs, in partnership with the central government, which is headed by AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj.

Vetevendosje candidate Mytaher Haskuka said that he has four goals for his Prizren government, but went on to list quite a few more.

“The first goal is to develop tourism; second is to improve the state of education and the health sector, and depoliticization of education and re-functionalization of family health care centers,” he said, then divulging his plans to develop the city and the administration.

Nexhmedin Ramadani from Fjala promised economic development, while Osman Krasniqi from New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, promised a clean environment, educated and employed youth, preventive healthcare, and care for people with disabilities.

Meanwhile, Veton Qipa from Alternativa promised economic development and education.

When the debate turned to cultural heritage protection, LDK’s candidate Hatim Baxkaku accused PDK of destroying Prizren’s historic center. Vetevendosje candidate Mytaher Haskuka said the party has a 10-point plan for protecting the historic center, including lighting historic sites.

Lulzim Kabashi from AAK promised full revitalization of the Historic Zone of Prizren over the next four years, including revitalizing cobblestone streets. Nexhmedin Ramadani of Fjala interjected, arguing that local institutions have no power in this area.

“Only UNESCO can preserve the old part of the city of Prizren,” Ramadani said.

28/09/2017 - 11:34

28 September 2017 - 11:34

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