Roza Otunbayeva

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Roza Otunbayeva
Роза Отунбаева
Roza Otunbayeva - World Economic Forum on Europe 2011.jpg
3rd President of Kyrgyzstan
In office
7 April 2010 – 1 December 2011
Acting: 7 April 2010 – 3 July 2010
Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev
Omurbek Babanov (Acting)
Almazbek Atambayev
Preceded by Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Succeeded by Almazbek Atambayev
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
26 February 1992 – 10 October 1992
Prime Minister Tursunbek Chyngyshev
Preceded by Muratbek Imanaliyev
Succeeded by Ednan Karabayev
Personal details
Born (1950-08-23) 23 August 1950 (age 65)
Frunze, Soviet Union
(now Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
Political party Social Democratic Party
Spouse(s) BK Sadybakasov (1963–2006)
Alma mater Moscow State University

Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva (Kyrgyz and Russian: Роза Исаковна Отунбаева; born August 23, 1950) is a Kyrgyz diplomat and politician who served as the President of Kyrgyzstan from 7 April 2010 until 1 December 2011. She was sworn in on July 3, 2010, after acting as interim leader following the 2010 April revolution which led to the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. She previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as head of the parliamentary caucus for the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan.

Early life[edit]

Roza Otunbayeva was born in Frunze (now Bishkek), Kyrgyz SSR, USSR into the family of Isak Otunbayev, a member of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyz SSR (1967-1992), and Salika Daniyarova, Teacher. She graduated from the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University in 1972 and went on to teach as Senior Teacher and then as Head of the Philosophy Department at Kyrgyz State National University for six years (1975-1981). In 1975 she became Candidate of Sciences after defending dissertation named "Critique of falsification of Marxist-Leninist dialectic by the philosophers of Frankfurt school".[1] Roza Otunbayeva is a divorced mother of two children. She is fluent in Russian, English, German and French in addition to Kyrgyz.[2][3]

Political career[edit]

In 1981, she began her political career as the Communist Party's Second Secretary of the Lenin raion council (raikom) of Frunze (now Bishkek). From 1983 to 1986 Ms. Otunbayeva served as the Secretary of the City Communist Party Committee in Frunze (now Bishkek). In 1986 she was appointed the Deputy to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, and then became the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz SSR.[4] In 1989, she served as Executive Secretary, Chairman of the USSR Committee of UNESCO in Paris, and later as Vice-President[5] of UNESCO Executive Council. By 1992, the now independent Kyrgyzstan was led by Askar Akayev, who chose her to be both Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, positions she held until later that year when she became her country's first ambassador to the USA and Canada (1992-1994). She returned to her original post of Kyrgyz Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1994, remaining there for three years. Following the arrest of the journalist Zamira Sydykova[6] and her deputy, Tamara Slashcheva, she spoke out against Human Rights organisations who accused the Akaev government of restricting freedom of speech in the Kyrgyz republic. From 1997 to 2002, she served as the first Kyrgyz ambassador to the United Kingdom. From 2002 to 2004, she was Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Georgia[7] (Georgia/Abkhazia conflict). As a UN official, she publicly contested the existence of human rights concerns in the Eastern territory of Abkhazia, traditionally populated by ethnic Georgians. She argued that the restrictions on the use of the Georgian language in Gali district had less impact than the diminishing practice of the Abkhaz language in Abkhaz collective memory. This dissident opinion broke the trust she had with the Head of the UN Mission (Heidi Tagliavini).

Upon her return to Kyrgyzstan in late 2004, Otunbayeva became politically active. In December 2004, she and three other opposition parliamentarians founded the Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party in preparation for the February 2005 parliamentary elections.[8]

From March to September 2005 Ms. Otunbayeva served as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"Tulip Revolution"[edit]

Otunbayeva was one of the key leaders of the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan which led to the overthrow of President Akayev.[9] Subsequently she served for a few months as Acting Foreign Minister in the interim government of then prime minister (and acting president) Kurmanbek Bakiyev. After Bakiyev was elected President and Feliks Kulov became Prime Minister, Otunbayeva failed to receive the required parliamentary support to become Foreign Minister.[8] She then ran unsuccessfully in a parliamentary by-election a few months later. Otunbayeva played a key role in the November 2006 protests that pressed successfully for a new democratic constitution.

She was the co-chairwoman of the country's Asaba[10] (Flag) National Revival Party for a short time. In December 2007, Otunbayeva was elected to the Jogorku Kenesh - the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan - on the list of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan. She served as the Leader of the Opposition SDP from 2008 to 2010. In 2009 she became the Leader of People's Front opposition.

2010 uprising and presidency[edit]

On April 7, 2010, Otunbayeva was chosen by opposition leaders as head of the Interim Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, following widespread rioting in Bishkek and the ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.[11]

Otunbayeva meets Hillary Clinton (2011)

Bakiyev fled the Jalal-Abad area as the riots became more violent. Unable to rally support, he resigned as president on April 10, 2010, and left the country for Kazakhstan. Nine days later he went to Minsk, Belarus, where he was given protected-exile status. On April 21 he recanted his resignation and declared that he was still president of Kyrgyzstan. Otunbayeva vowed to bring him to trial.[12]

As interim president, Otunbayeva had four male deputies. Otunbayeva is considered to be unusual as there are few women in politics in Kyrgyzstan. Her first conversation after she came to power was with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Otunbayeva declared that new elections would be called within six months and that she would act as president until then.[13]

With violent protests in support of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev continuing in Jalalabad, the home city of the former President, it was announced on May 19, 2010, by the interim government that elections would be delayed until 2011 and Otunbayeva was named as President. Following a referendum on the new Kyrgyz constitution, she was sworn in on July 3, 2010. Otunbayeva however was prohibited by the new constitution from running in the 2011 presidential election[why?] and her term ended on December 31, 2011.[14][15] The referendum was supported by over 90% and changes the government from a Presidential republic to a Parliamentary republic. Parliamentary elections were held in October and the new parliament elected the Prime Minister and Cabinet.[16][17]

In January 2012 Roza Otunbayeva has established the International Public Foundation "Roza Otunbayeva Initiative".[18] The main objective of the Foundation is to implement programs and projects that will contribute to the social, political and economic development of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Achievements (Honours and Awards)[edit]

Roza Otunbayeva is listed as one of the 150 most influential women in the world by Newsweek Daily Beast 2011 edition.[19]

She has received the award of France “Legion of Honour”[20] with assigned degree of Commandor and highest order of Mongolia “Polar Star”;

In November 2015 Roza Otunbayeva was awarded the Premio Minerva Medallion[21] which is under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic “For the highest institutional role in Kyrgyzstan and for the international activities in favour of democracy and peace”.

She is also an Honorary Professor at number of universities worldwide and within the Kyrgyz Republic; Member of the Board of the UN University for Peace (UPEACE); Member of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development;

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2007 Report" (PDF) (in Russian). Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  2. ^ © РИА Новости. Руслан Кривобок. "Роза Исааковна Отунбаева. Биографическая справка | Справки | Лента новостей "РИА Новости"". Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  3. ^ Osborn, Andrew (8 April 2010). "Roza Otunbayeva, the head of Kyrgyzstan's new interim government, is not an archetypal revolutionary". Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic". 
  5. ^ "Roza Otunbayeva". Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  6. ^ The journalist and editor of the parliamentary newspaper Svobodnye Gory (Free Mountains) was sentenced under article 128, part 2, of the criminal code—slander with the use of mass media—to one and a half years in prison for articles criticising President Akaev.
  8. ^ a b "Profile: Roza Otunbayeva". BBC. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  9. ^ [1] Archived September 27, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Kyrgyzstan - Political Parties". Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  11. ^ "Opposition Forces In Kyrgyzstan Claim Power, Form Interim Government". Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  12. ^ "Kyrgyzstan opposition declares new government". BBC News. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  13. ^ Osborn, Andrew (8 April 2010). "Kyrgyzstan riots: opposition forms interim government after deadly revolt". Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  14. ^ "Kyrgyzstan's interim leader named president until end of 2011". Xinhua. 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  15. ^ msk, 8 october 2012. "Kyrgyzstan: Roza Otunbaeva is appointed as the president until the end of 2011 without right for reelection - Ferghana Information agency, Moscow". Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  16. ^ "About Rissho Kosei-kai, a Buddhist organization". Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  17. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  18. ^ "МОФ "Инициатива Розы Отунбаевой"  »...". Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  19. ^ "Newsweek and The Daily Beast Honor". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  20. ^ "Legion of Honour". 
  21. ^ "МОФ "Инициатива Розы Отунбаевой"  »...". Retrieved 2015-12-22. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Muratbek Imanaliyev
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Ednan Karabayev
Preceded by
Kurmanbek Bakiyev
President of Kyrgyzstan
Succeeded by
Almazbek Atambayev