Electoral debate: Podujeve

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In BIRN’s electoral debate on Podujeve, four out of six candidates for Mayor of Podujeva are former members of the KLA, now spread across four different political parties, two of them even being deputy ministers in the central government. Out of them, four actually live in Prishtina but are running for mayor of Podujeve. Apart from the current mayor, Agim Veliu, of LDK, the vote of Podujeve’s citizens is being sought by Ismet Abdullahu, of AAK, Ismet Ibishi, of AKR, Naim Fetahu, of PDK, Nexhat Llumnica, of Levizja per Bashkim and Xhemshit Vokrri of Vetevendosje.

The debate revealed that the current mayor, Agim Veliu, the deputy-mayor travel from Prishtina to work in Podujeve every day, with an official car of the municipality that goes to pick Veliu up in Prishtina every morning and takes him back there after work each day.

Both deputy-ministers Ismet Ibishi from AKR and Naim Fetahu of PDK, travel to Podujeve for electoral purposes with official cars due to them living in Prishtina, and while Ibishi said that he would travel to Podujeve everyday but live in Prishtina, Fetahu promised to move for good to Podujeve if he gets elected. The only candidate that doesn’t own a car but travels with public transportation, is that of Vetevendosje, Vokrri.

Promises that were made ranged from effective governance, agriculture, quality education, tourism development, and cleaning of the Llap river.

Apart from Veliu, all candidates promised to depoliticize the sector of education, while Llumnica promised to build a school in Halabak, and Abdullahu promised to reinforce even stricter criteria on the employment on the education sector.

Almost all candidates promised about 1 million euro to be invested in agriculture, but they were reminded by current Mayor Veliu that the budget for 2014 has already been approved and it foresees only 300,000 euros for agriculture.

The candidates promised investments in sports, with PDK’s Fetahu promising to raise the budget for sports by 200 per cent, while other candidates promised to build a stadium.