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Georgian Students Protest Withdrawal Of University Accreditation

TBILISI -- Hundreds of students from several universities in Tbilisi have demonstrated in the Georgian capital to protest the withdrawal of Agricultural University's accreditation.

Georgia's Council of Authorization ruled on March 11 that the university's accreditation should be withdrawn for several violations of the education law.

Protesting students said on March 13 that the decision was politically motivated.

The chairman of the university's supervising council, Kakha Bendukidze, said the decision was aimed against him personally.

Bendukidze, a close associate of President Mikheil Saakashvili, has served as economy minister, reform coordination minister, and head of the cabinet's chancellery.

He initiated and supervised the transformation of the Soviet-era Tbilisi Agricultural Institute into the high-ranking Agricultural University several years ago.

Saakashvili's associates have been under pressure after the president's party was defeated by Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s coalition in October 2012 parliamentary elections.

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