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Kurmanbek Saliyevich Bakiyev (Kyrgyz: Курманбек Сали уулу Бакиев (Kurmanbek Sali Uulu Bakiev), Russian: Курманбек Салиевич Бакиев; born 1 August, 1949) is the President of Kyrgyzstanmarker. The Legislative Assembly of Kyrgyzstan of the Supreme Council of Kyrgyzstan appointed him acting President on 24 March, 2005 following the ousting, during the Tulip Revolution, of President Askar Akayev.

Bakiyev was the leader of the People's Movement of Kyrgyzstan before his ascendance to the presidency. He gets most of his popular support from the south of the country. In October 2007 Bakiyev initiated the creation of Ak Jol party, but could not lead it due to his presidency.

Early life and career

Bakiyev was born in Masadan, Jalal-Abad Provincemarker, of the now former Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republicmarker, of the Soviet Unionmarker. In 1972, Bakiyev graduated from the Kuybyshev Polytechnic Institute as an electrical engineer; from 1974 to 1976 he served in the Soviet Army. By 1979 he was deputy chief engineer at a factory in Jalal-Abadmarker, and by 1990 had risen to factory director, when he left to begin a political career. Initially first secretary of the Kok-Yangakmarker city council, he later rose to chairman of the supreme soviet for that city, then deputy chairman for the Jalalabad region.

Prime Minister

In 1995 Bakiyev was appointed Provincial Governor of Jalal-Abad Provincemarker. He later served as Governor of Chui Province from April 1997 to December 2000 and as Prime Minister from December 21, 2000, to May 22, 2002, but resigned that position in the aftermath of riot police having shot and killed five anti-Akayev protesters in the southern Kyrgyz town of Aksymarker.

Tulip Revolution

Following the events of the 2005 Tulip Revolution, Bakiyev won the 10 July ballot for the Presidential election with 89% of the vote with a 53% turnout. This overwhelming electoral success is partly due to the political alliance with Felix Kulov whom Bakiyev appointed Prime Minister soon after the election. However widespread election fraud had been reported by many US and NGO election observers. Bakiyev was inaugurated on 14 August in Bishkekmarker.

President

Despite initial hopes, Bakiyev's term in office has been marred by the murder of several prominent politicians, prison riots, economic ills and battles for control of lucrative businesses. In 2006, Bakiyev faced a political crisis as thousands of people participated in a series of protests in Bishkek. He was accused of not following through with his promises to limit presidential power, give more authority to parliament and the prime minister, and eradicate corruption and crime. Bakiyev claimed that the opposition was plotting a coup against him.

In April 2007, the opposition held protests demanding Bakiyev's resignation, with a large protest beginning on April 11 in Bishkek. Bakiyev signed constitutional amendments to reduce his own power on April 10, but the protest went ahead, with protesters saying that they would remain until he resigned. Clashes broke out between protesters and police on April 19, after which the protests ended. Bakiyev was re-elected in the 2009 Kyrgyzstani presidential election, despite allegations of rampant corruption, and voter fraud.

In February of 2009 while in Moscow Bakiev announced the eviction of the US Air Base from Kyrgyzstan, right after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, during which Russia promised a $2 billion investment. However, the base did not get evicted, because US offered more rent. Russia since then said that it won't be able to deliver promised credit, explaining it with current economics crises.

References

  1. After years of turmoil, Kyrgyz voters go to the polls UNHCR Refworld
  2. Bakiev sworn in as Kyrgyz leader BBC News
  3. Kyrgyz jail unrest claims lives BBC News
  4. Kyrgyz rally against corruption BBC News
  5. Kyrgyz MP shot dead in Bishkek BBC News
  6. Clashes erupt in Kyrgyz capital BBC News
  7. Thousands rally against Kyrgyz leader Al Jazeera
  8. Kyrgyzstan brings coup charges Al Jazeera
  9. "Kyrgyzstan: Protests Gain Steam Ahead Of Major Antigovernment Rally", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, April 9, 2007.
  10. "Kyrgyz opposition stages large rally against embattled president", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), April 11, 2007.
  11. "Kyrgyzstan: Overnight Violence Halts Bishkek Rallies", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, April 20, 2007.
  12. Kyrgyz Eviction Warnings Intensify Over U.S. Air BaseRFE/RL, 04 February, 2009


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