Unofficial version: alcohol smuggling and a drunken brawl" />

Rector of Azerbaijan’s main university axed

Unofficial version: alcohol smuggling and a drunken brawl

The rector of Baku State University Abel Maharramov has been dismissed by presidential decree from a position he has held for nearly 20 years (since 1999).

He has hardly earned the love of the students during his tenure as head of the university, and has instead been accused by numerous students of corruption.

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Musavat.com has put forward one explanation for his dismissal – alcohol smuggling and a drunken brawl while on a plane. However, there have been no formal statements concerning the event as of yet.

Musavat.com‘s version of events

Оn 3 November an Azerbaijani delegation set off to Madrid via a charter flight to participate in an international conference on religious tolerance. The delegation also included Abel Maharramov.

The plane was unable to take off for two hours due to being overloaded, said a anonymous source from the same delegation. Maharramov’s two-tonne luggage, which consisted mostly of wine barrels, was the problem.

Musavat.com explains that Maharramov and his son, who serves as Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Spain, have their own wine business, which consists of smuggling wine out of Azerbaijan into Spain, bottling it, and then shipping it back to Azerbaijan in the guise of Spanish wine. The wine is then supposedly sold in stores and restaurants owned by Abel Maharramov.

However, Musavat.com writes, this was the not the reason for Maharramov’s dismissal. Instead, the grounds for his dismissal was a fight he had in a restaurant in Spain with a member of the Azerbaijani delegation. Moreover, in an allegedly drunken stupor, Maharramov said that: “Baku State University is an institution that gathers thousands of people, both students and intellectuals. If I want, using their power, I can in one instant destroy the stability of the country.”

Reactions by social media users

On social media, the news was received with undisguised joy, though many argued about the reason for his dismissal:

“It was a long time coming.”

“I can not believe that he blurted that out. How much did he have to drink?”

“So let’s drink to his dismissal!”

“The funny thing is that some people believe that a decent person will be appointed in his stead. The decent [people] have all left the country long ago – the rest are just waiting in line.”

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