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Kazakh Teachers Ordered To Assist In Election Preparations

A member of a local election committee prepares a ballot box in this file photo.
ORAL, Kazakhstan -- Some school teachers in western Kazakhstan have been ordered to assist in preparations for the April 3 presidential election, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

A high school teacher in the city of Oral told RFE/RL on March 24 that she and her colleagues at the school were told that they must volunteer to revise voter lists.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, she said each teacher received a list of 25-30 houses to visit during their free time in order to update voter lists. The teacher said neither she nor her colleagues will be paid for that work.

The teacher said her school will serve as a polling station during the election. She said one teacher at her school tried to refuse to participate but was reprimanded by the chairman of the election commission and the school's deputy director for educational work, who said teachers should "demonstrate civic responsibility" by taking part in the election preparations.

The teacher told RFE/RL that the administrative boards of all schools in Oral have warned teachers that they must vote for incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbaev in the election. The teacher's statement could not be independently confirmed.

The head of the Oral municipal education department, Zhansulu Turemuratova, told RFE/RL it was the duty of teachers and other public-sector employees to work at polling stations.

Turemuratova added that she was not responsible for financial issues and does not know whether teachers will paid for their work during the election.