Omurbek Chirkeshovich Tekebayev (Russian: Омурбек Текебаев) is a Kyrgyz politician. He is a member and former speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, elected on March 28, 2005. Tekebaev is the leader of the Ata-Meken socialist party.
Tekebayev was previously a leading opposition figure to the government of president Askar Akayev, which had ruled Kyrgyzstan since its independence in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tekebayev ran twice for the presidency in the 1995 and 2000 elections. In 2000 he formed an election bloc with Felix Kulov and came in a distant second to Akayev with 14% of the vote; however, opposition leaders widely alleged electoral fraud.
On March 27, 2005, Tekebayev became speaker following the 2005 parliamentary elections. In the turmoil that followed, Akayev was forced to flee the country and an interim government headed by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev claimed power (see: Tulip Revolution). Tekebayev emerged as an important figure in the transitional chaos, both due to his constitutional role as head of parliament and because while Akayev refused to recognize Bakiyev's authority as interim president, he did recognize Tekebayev's authority as Speaker of Parliament and indicated a willingness to negotiate with him. Ultimately these negotiations failed, however, and Bakiyev was elected president in a landslide victory in July, 2005.
Tekebayev announced his resignation as speaker of parliament after a political conflict with president Bakiyev on February 27, 2006.
On September 6, 2006, heroin was found in Tekebayev's luggage during a trip to Poland, in an incident generally regarded as an attempted frame.
Omurbek Tekebayev in his capacity of co-chairman of For Reforms political movement played a key role in organizing very visible political protests against ex-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev in November 2006 and April 2007.
Tekebaev was born on 22 December 1958 in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan. He graduated in physics from the Kyrgyz State University. He then worked as a teacher in Akman Bazar-Korgonskyj, a village in Jalal-Abad Province, and then graduated in law from the Kyrgyz State National University in 1994.
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