Race for Berat, Ismaili: Disgruntled Democrats offered jobs in exchange for votes

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Zija Ismaili, a Berat candidate for the opposition coalition “Together We Win,” presented his program on A2 CNN’s “Debate” on May 14th.

Ismaili revealed in a live connection with the “Debat” studio that his team has devised a platform that intends to reconnect the municipality with its inhabitants. The Berat mayoral candidate stressed that after listening to locals, he recognized a major problem with the quality of life as a result of inadequate management by the administration and the present mayor.

“I and my administration promise Berat residents that all municipal council meetings will be open to the public.” “The entire municipal budget, public funds, and taxes will be invested in this municipality, after first consulting with the citizens of Berat, a steering board, and interest groups,” he stated.

Zija Ismaili also discussed how merging tourism with agrotourism and mountain tourism might increase the city’s options for those who want to stay more than one night.

“The infrastructure is in disrepair.” There has been no investment in rural areas. “The sewage, roads, lighting, and landscaping,” he added.

In addition, Ismaili accused the present administration of promising voters three-month job contracts in exchange for their vote.

Another charge leveled against the present mayor is “inflation” in the government, particularly during election seasons. According to him, the taxes paid by Berat residents go to pay the wages of the administration.

“The municipality’s revenue projection for 2023 was 263 million new lek, while administration salaries cost 216 million new lek.” Revenue theft is at 13%, meaning people’ taxes are only used to pay the administration. It has grown by 84 persons in four years, and some others have been duped.”

While underlining that he emerged from the Primary process as a candidate and so had the support of the Democrats, he also stated that he has the backing of the city’s intelligentsia, the grey electorate, and even honest Socialists.