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Scores Of Georgian Education Officials Quit Over Director's Firing

The ousted director of the National Examinations Center, Maya Miminoshvili, at a Tbilisi press conference in August with Education Minister Dimitri Shashkini.
TBILISI -- Scores of officials of the Georgian Education Ministry's examinations center have submitted resignations to protest the dismissal of the center's director, Maya Miminoshvili.

They and others have accused senior officials of playing politics with the career of a woman who was held up months ago as a model of incorruptibility.

About 60 employees made their resignations public at a news conference on May 29, one day after Miminoshvili was officially dismissed because of "differences" between her positions and those of the Education Ministry.

About 90 more center employees, virtually the entire remaining staff of the examinations center, have also said they will submit resignation letters in response to the sacking.

Miminoshvili was hailed recently by senior Georgian officials as a model of incorruptibility and civil service in an appearance that received widespread attention.

Suspicions have been kindled of political foul play because of the attendance, one day before her dismissal, of her son at a rally by the opposition Georgian Dream coalition, which is fiercely critical of President Mikheil Saakashvili and is headed by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The resigning officials alleged in their statements that Miminoshvili was fired because of her son's political activities and have written an open letter to Saakashvili urging him to reverse the decision and protect society from "distrust and nihilism."