Sherig-ool Dizizhikovich Oorzhak ([ʃærɪɡɔːl dɪzɪʒɪɡovɪtʃ ɔːrʒʌk] (Russian: Шериг-о́ол Дизижи́кович О́оржак), born July 24, 1942 in the village of Shekpeer [ʃækpæːr] in independent People's Republic of Tuva, was the leader of Tuva for 17 years, from 1990 to 2007.
Oorzhak graduated from the Timiryazev Moscow Agricultural academy in 1971. Then he was an economist, director in the state farm "Shekpeer" in 1971-1980.
In 1983 he became activist of the Tuvan branch of the Communist Party. He graduated from Novosibirsk High Communist Party School in 1985. From December 1986 he was secretary at the Tuvan branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
He was three-times deputy of Supreme Soviet of Tuva Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. From 1990 to 1992 he was Chairman of the Council of Ministers (i.e. Prime Minister) of Tuva ASSR. In 1990 he was elected people's deputy of RSFSR. In August 1991 he suffered a defeat from Kaadyr-ool Bicheldei in the race for Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Tuva ASSR.
On March 15, 1992 he was elected to be President of the Republic of Tuva. In 1993 he was Head of the Constitutional commission of Tuva (the Constitution was adopted on October 21, 1993). In 1997 he was re-elected as President.
According to the Tuvan constitution, Tuva was "an independent state in association with Russia" and could "declare war and sign international agreements of its own will". During Russian regional constitutions' revision in 2000, these phrases were removed from the document. As political career of Oorzhal became uncertain after this, he had to pay some respect to Russian president and his affiliates and provided places in Council of Federation from Tuva to Serguey Pugachev and Lyudmila Narusova. The first is Kremlin-affiliated bank owner, while the second is the widow of Anatoly Sobchak.
In 2001 new Constitution of Tuva cancelled the post of the President of Tuva to make it possible for Oorzhak to avoid the two-term limit for President. On March 17, 2002 with 53% of the vote he was elected as a Prime Minister of Tuvan Government and changed his title from President to Prime Minister.
He was forced to resign on April 6, 2007 after local opposition clans had made publicity of Oorzhak's corruption.
Honours and awards
- Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 3rd class (9 April 2007) - "for services to the state and many years of honest work"
- Order of Honour (2002)
- Order of Friendship (1997)
|Chairman of the Government of Tuva