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Roza Isakovna Otunbaeva (Russian: Роза Исаковна Отунбаева; born August 23, 1950, Osh, Kyrgyz SSR, USSR) is a former foreign minister of Kyrgyzstan and the head of the parliamentary group of the opposition Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan. She is married and has two children.

She graduated from the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University in 1972 and went on to teach as senior professor and head of the philosophy department at Kyrgyz State National University for six years.

In 1981 she began her political rise as the Communist Party's second secretary of the Lenin regional council (raikom) of Frunze (current Bishkek). In late 1980s she served as head of the USSR Delegation to UNESCO in Paris and later as the Soviet Ambassador to Malaysia. By 1992, the now independent Kyrgyzstan was led by Askar Akayev. He chose her to be both Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, positions she held until later that year when she became her country's first ambassador to the USA and Canada. She returned to her original post in 1994, remaining there for 3 years. In 1998-2001 she served as the first Kyrgyz ambassador to the United Kingdom. In 2002-2004 she was the deputy head of the United Nations special mission to Georgia.

Upon her return to Kyrgyzstan in late 2004, Otunbaeva 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.

She was barred from becoming a candidate for the 2005 legislative election due to a previously enacted law requiring prospective MPs to have resided in the country for 5 years prior to the elections. Her time as ambassador to the United Kingdom prevented her from meeting this criterion.

Otunbaeva was one of the key leaders of the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan which led to the overthrow of President Akayev. [1] Subsequently she served for a few months as Acting Foreign Minister in the interim government of then prime minister (and acting president) Kurmanbek Bakiev. After Bakiev was elected President and Feliks Kulov became Prime Minister, Otunbaeva failed to receive the required parliamentary support to become Foreign Minister. She then ran unsuccessfully in a parliamentary by-election a few months later, but lost. Otunbaeva played a key role in November 2006 protests that pressed successfully for a new democratic constitution.

She was the co-chairwoman of the country's Asaba (Flag) National Revival Party for a short term.

In December 2007 Otunbaeva was elected to Jogorku Kenesh - parliament of Kyrgyzstan on the candidate list of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan. She is the head of the parliamentary group of the opposition SDP since October 2009.

Quotation

  • "The deformed democracy that exists in our country is deforming our conscience" Prior to the February 2005 elections in Kyrgyzstan.

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