“Battle” for Pristina, Shpend Ahmeti: We are the team of novelties

“Battle” for Pristina, Shpend Ahmeti: We are the team of novelties

Vice chairman of Self Determination, Shpend Ahmeti is going to race in the second round of the local government elections in Pristina against the current leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa.

In an interview for IBNA, Mr. Ahmeti talks about the strategy of his party and the intention to improve the life of the metropolis. Mr. Ahmeti says that he’s close to victory and that he’s in a time which brings new things, something that people want.

Below you will read the interview that Mr. Ahmeti gave for journalist Tinka Kurti:


How do you consider the situation in the Municipality of Pristina?

We can say that Pristina of 2013 is far from the ambitions and demands of its citizens. Pristina doesn’t look at all like a developed city, where cultural life would harmonize with the economic and administrative life, urban regulation with traffic, social care with development. Pristina lacks a library, a theater, adequate cinema halls, water supply and it has a public transport almost inexistent. Meanwhile, constructions without planning and standards have made the life of people very difficult. In the recent months alone, we have seen destroyed roads, opened sewage systems, schools that have cracked walls and thin asphalt. Although millions have been spent in Pristina for the construction of the central square, the problem of the sewage system has not been resolved. In 6 years, no day care center has been built in Pristina, while the number of children increases every year. High school students continue to hold classes in shifts with classrooms which are overpopulated. For years in a row, our schools have not had heating systems, while in Pristina, winter temperatures turn negative. These and many other concerns have been conveyed to us during the past 6 years, while the Commune has distanced itself from the citizens.  Like the entire Kosovo, Pristina has a young population, which has more energy and knowledge. The commune of Pristina has not used this to maximize development. On the contrary, it has neglected it by installing a government which doesn’t coincide with the contemporary pace, or the tradition of earlier experience of the citizens of Pristina.


What do you think led you to a runoff against the head of the second biggest party in the country?

The fact that I’ve heard the demands of the citizens, the solutions that we have proposed, sincerity and without any doubt, the will that has been shown that we will work in order to change Pristina.


What do you think is your advantage against Isa Mustafa?

There’s an advantage which is the basis of all other elements. For me and my team, the drastic change of Pristina is very important. For this we have planned the elections, we have chosen the people, we have collaborated with the people quarter by quarter and village by village, we have heard and consulted professionals and we’re ready to lead Pristina toward development. We want a Pristina where life is decent, affordable and comparable with the capitals of the region. Meanwhile, the candidate of LDK, Isa Mustafa needs this term in office for calculative reasons, which don’t relate to the development of Pristina, but with his position as chairman of LDK.

We can say that we are the team of the novelty and the candidate of LDK is the reflection of the past.


What are your priorities in leading Pristina?

Priorities relate first of all with 24 hour water supply, affordable day care centers in every part of Pristina, the improvement of traffic, education at the service of development, the introduction of order in the urban planning, the creation of a market for domestic produces, affordable properties, the opening of the Municipality for citizens, health system at the service of development, equality and solidarity in the entire capital and reformation of the tax on property.

All of this is achievable and will immediately be accompanied by the revitalization of the cultural life in Pristina, which year after year has been reduced to several ceremonial concerts on commemoration dates.


How do you see the results of November 3 elections and what chances do you have on the December 1 race in Pristina?

We believe that along with the citizens of Pristina, we will achieve the big change, which offers to our commune a new policy. The results of the November 3 elections are a proof of this solidarity of the citizens. Meanwhile, in the runoff that will take place on December 1, we believe that the number of people who seek change has grown.


Have you entered a coalition or obtained the support of one of the subjects that have lost in the first round?

We have drafted a program and a plan which regulates and transforms the life of the citizens of Pristina. We have the will and the knowledge to achieve this. Thus, we have called on every citizen, in spite of the political affiliation, to support our program.


What makes the runoff different to the November race?

In general, these days we have noticed an added enthusiasm, given that many of the people believe that we’re close to the much anticipated change in Pristina. Many problems that the capital has had have not been addressed in 6 years by the commune. During these days they are showing that they have been able to tackle these problems, but that there has been a lack of will. We talk to the citizens on a daily basis and they confirm that they trust us and that they’re convinced that with the solutions that we have proposed, Pristina can turn from a city where living is hard to a place where there’s social solidarity and support and attention from the institutions. /ibna/