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Kyrgyz University Teachers, Students Protest Rector's Removal Over Election Campaign


The protesters on November 10 warned that mass rallies would be held in the city of Osh two days later if the rector of Osh State University was not reinstated.

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Dozens of teachers and students rallied in front of the Osh State University in southern Kyrgyzstan on November 10, protesting the government's decision to fire the university's rector, Kudaiberdi Kojobekov.

The protesters held posters saying: "He must stay," and "Respect our opinion!"

A day earlier, the chief of the presidential administration, Akylbek Jeenbekov, said that Kojobekov and the dean of the pedagogical department were fired for using the university's students in campaigning for parliamentary elections.

Education Minister Bolot Kupeshev and Osh Mayor Almaz Mambetov were officially reprimanded.

The protesters on November 10 warned that, if Kojobekov was not reinstated to the post of university rector, mass rallies would be held in the city on November 12.

The university officials met with the protesters and told them that Kojobekov was not fired but suspended for one month as a government commission investigates reports about students being used to promote unspecified candidates for parliament.

The protesters subsequently left the site.

Parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic are scheduled for November 28.

Previous parliamentary elections in October 2020 ended with mass protests against the official results, which were later recognized as rigged and led to the government's resignation.