Profile: Roza Otunbayeva (2)

10:19, July 04, 2010      

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Otunbayeva was again foreign minister from April 1994 to June 1997, followed by several years as ambassador to the United Kingdom and, later, the United Nations deputy special representative on Georgia.

Otunbayeva returned to Bishkek in 2004 and was one of the leaders of the campaign that led to the overthrow of then President Akayev. She served for a few months as acting foreign minister in the interim government of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, but failed to win parliamentary approval to become foreign minister after Bakiyev's election as president.

Otunbayeva then moved to the opposition side and represented the Social Democratic Party in parliament. She was selected by opposition leaders as head of the Kyrgyz interim government after widespread violence in Kyrgyzstan and the ousting of President Bakiyev in April.

Riots and ethnic clashes broke out in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad as the interim government struggled to restore order. Otunbayeva declared a state of emergency in some of the cities before a referendum was held on June 27 to turn Kyrgyzstan into a parliamentary republic.

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