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Dozens Demand Kyrgyz Mufti's Resignation Over 'Adultery' Video

Kyrgyz Grand Mufti Rakhmatulla-Hajji Egemberdiev
Kyrgyz Grand Mufti Rakhmatulla-Hajji Egemberdiev
BISHKEK -- Around 60 people have protested in front of the Bishkek office of Kyrgyzstan's grand mufti, demanding his immediate resignation.

The January 6 call for Rakhmatulla-Hajji Egemberdiev's resignation accuses him of being an adulterer.

A video showing Egemberdiev and a young woman having sex circulated on the Internet on New Year's Eve.

Egemberdiev has explained the video by saying that the woman is his second wife.

Kyrgyz legislation bans polygamy.

Police were guarding the mufti's office on January 6, not allowing protesters to get too close.

Egemberdiev was elected Kyrgyzstan's grand mufti in December 2012 despite being the subject of tax-evasion allegations.

Five muftis have been replaced in Kyrgyzstan in the past four years amid corruption scandals.

Candidates Emerging In Mayoral Races

Also in Kyrgyzstan, candidates are coming forward for upcoming mayoral elections in the country's two largest cities.

Kubanychbek Kulmatov, a candidate for Bishkek mayor, passed the required Kyrgyz language test on January 6.

Kulmatov was nominated on January 5 by the Social Democratic Party.

Bishkek's previous mayor, Isa Omurkulov, resigned from his post last month, days after investigations into alleged abuse of office were launched against him.

Meanwhile, Rysbek Nurdinov, the chairman of the election commission in the southern city of Osh, told RFE/RL on January 6 that the city council's coalition majority has nominated Aitmamat Kadyrbaev as its candidate for mayor.

Controversial former Mayor Melis Myrzakmatov, who was dismissed from his post last month on what he says were "technical" reasons, has not registered as a candidate yet.

Myrzakmatov said earlier that he plans to run.

Elections in both cities will be held on January 15.