05 April 2006

Who's Who in Kyrgyzstan

Not very interesting to most people, I know, but I need a place to keep track of all these people. This is certainly not complete yet, but it's a start.

Kurmanbek Bakiev- Current president who was elected after the revolution. Bakiev is from the south. He served as prime minister under Akaev until 2002 when he resigned after Aksy (see Azimbek Beknazarov).

Feliks Kulov- Current prime minister who was elected on a "tandem" ticket with Bakiev. Kulov is from the north. He was released from prison after the revolution. Many thought the charges that landed him in prison were politically motivated.

Roza Otunbaeva- Pretty much the only influential woman in Kyrgyzstan politics. She served as foreign minister under Akaev and also was the ambassador to the US. In 1997 she left Akaev's government and became an important opposition leader. She was a leader in the revolution and served as acting foreign minister afterwards until September 2005. She was not approved by Parliament to stay on as foreign minister. She is currently a co-chair of the Asaba Party.

Azimbek Beknazarov- Currently a member of Parliament, he has been an opposition leader for a long time. As a member of Parliament in January 2002, he was arrested for criticizing Akaev's [illegal] agreement with China on the borders. He was released March 2002 after the Aksy protests results in 5 deaths. He was appointed prosecutor-general after the revolution but was fired in September 2005. Beknazarov claimed he was fired for his campaign against corruption. He is the co-chair of the Asaba party with Roza Otunbaeva.

Zamira Sydykova- Current Kyrgyzstan Ambassador to the US. She is a journalist who was jailed twice in the Akaev years for what she wrote.

Ryspek Akmatbaev- Major player in organized crime in Kyrgyzstan. He was on the run starting in 2001 and returned to Kyrgyzstan in May of 2005 after the revolution. Beknazarov offered to let him return to Kyrgyzstan and stand trial for murder and Ryspek wouldn't have to be jailed in return for promising to not leave Kyrgyzstan. Murder charges were dropped in January after state prosecutors said some of their evidence was gathered illegally.

Ryspek is currently running for Parliament to fill his brother's seat. His brother was murdered in October 2005. Ryspek blames Kulov for the murder and has been calling for his resignation. There was plenty of controversy over Ryspek's being allowed to run for Parliament, but the Supreme Court settled the question in his favor.

Nurlan Motuev- [In]famous community leader in Naryn who seized the Kara-Keche coal mines after the revolution. People had been demanding that the mines be seized by the state since they had been privately owned and associated with Mayram Akaev's definitely suspect charitable foundation. Motuev refuses to turn the mines over to the state.

Askar Akaev- President of Kyrgyzstan from 1991-2005.

Murat Sultanov- Current speaker of Parliament. Appointed as interior minister after the revolution. He also headed the department of defense and law enforcement under Akaev and was a former finance minister. He is an economist

Omurbek Tekebayev- Speaker of the Parliament from March 2005 until he resigned in February 2006 after a nasty little spat with Bakiev. He ran for president in 2000 against Akaev and came in second with 14% of the vote.

Bayaman Erkinbaev- Chairman of the Olympic committee who was shot in September 2005. He was also a member of Parliament.

Raatbek Sanatbayev- Former wrestler who was shot in January 2006. He was a candidate to head the Olympic Committee. It is not a good idea to be involved with the Olympic committee in this country.

Muratbek Imanaliev- Foreign minister under Akaev. Head of the Party of Justice and Progress of Kyrgyzstan. I can't figure out what he's up to right now though.

Aziz Batukaev- Another criminal who probably is a rival of Ryspek.

1 comment:

  1. wow, that is so cool to know who was who in KG. i've lived my whole life there, and don't even know some of the people you have listed above. now i know...it was interesting to find out about it. but i think Ryspek Akmatbaev was killed yesterday. was shot by AK-47, 31 times...
    hey, we've got a media in US!!