Profile: Roza Otunbayeva

Former foreign minister is claiming to be Kyrgyzstan's interim leader.

    Otunbayeva is a a previous ally of Bakiyev, who has fled the capital [Reuters]

    Roza Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, is claiming to be Kyrgyzstan's interim leader after clashes between government troops and protesters left at least 75 people dead and forced Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the president, to flee the capital.

    "The interim government will remain in place for half a year, during which we will draft the constitution and create conditions for free and fair elections," Otunbayeva said on Thursday.

    Otunbayeva is widely viewed as having presidential ambitions.

    She is an articulate politician who helped steer the ex-Soviet republic's 2005 Tulip Revolution which ousted Askar Akayev, the previous president, and brought Bakiyev to power.

    Ally-turned-foe

    The 59-year-old former career diplomat served as foreign minister in the 1990s under Akayev but broke with him in 2004 to join the opposition movement.

    in depth

     

      Profile: Roza Otunbayeva
      Videos:
      Opposition usurps power in Bishkek
      Kyrgyzstan: Central Asia keystone

    Her Ata-Jurt party was one of the main opposition groups behind the Tulip Revolution.

    Otunbayeva briefly went on to serve as acting foreign minister under Bakiyev but failed to gain approval from parliament deputies for the post.

    She later became highly critical of Bakiyev, saying that his government continued the corruption and nepotism of the previous president.

    The Moscow-educated Otunbayeva is believed to have close ties to the Kremlin, which she thanked for its support in her first press conference as interim leader.

    As a woman, Otunbayeva is an unusual figure in Central Asia, where there are few female politicians in senior posts.

    In 2007, she became a deputy for the opposition Social Democratic party.

    She is a former ambassador to both the United States and Britain.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

    North Korea's nuclear weapons