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Soviet Republic

Kyrgyzstan was traditionally under the influence of Mongolian-Tatar Khanates. Around 1870, the area gradually came under Russian influence. In 1936, Kyrgyzstan was granted the status of an autonomous republic in the Soviet Union. Until the 1950s, ethnic Russians dominated the Kyrgyz Communist Party. Under Brezhnev, the top leadership of the party became more 'chirpy'. During Gorbachev's anti-corruption campaign in the mid-1980s, this traditional communist elite lost power.

Independent under Akayev

In October 1990, the physicist Akayev was elected president and Kyrgyzstan declared independence on 31 August 1991, thus renaming the country the Kyrgyz Republic. Akayev embarked on a programme of economic reform and political liberalisation, supported by major international donors. Unlike the other Central Asian republics, Kyrgyzstan has developed an active civil society in various fields of activity.

In December 1995 and October 2000, Akayev was re-elected president. Protests broke out after the rigged parliamentary elections in February 2005. After storming the parliament, Akayev fled the country. This is also known as the 'yellow or tulip revolution'.

Bakiyev period

At the early presidential elections in July 2005, Kurmanbek Bakiyev was elected president. In January 2007, Azim Isabekov was elected prime minister. In the December 2007 parliamentary elections, President Bakiyev's Ak Zhol party won the elections in which, according to Western observers, there was widespread fraud.

In July 2009, Kurmanbek Bakiyev won the elections and made a deal with the United States. The United States is allowed to use Manas Airport for a longer period of time against a rent of 60 million dollars per year.

In October 2009, Daniyar Usenov became the new prime minister. In April 2010, Bakiyev was deposed and the opposition led by Roza Otunbayeva seized power. In June 2010, more than 90% of the population voted for a new constitution limiting the president's power. There are clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. 200 people are killed and more than 100,000 flee. In July 2010, Roza Otunbayeva is sworn in as acting president with the task of preparing the October 2011 elections.

Recent history

Almazbek Atambaev won the presidential elections in October 2011. The moderate politician and current prime minister of the Central Asian country received more than half of the votes in the first round, making a second round unnecessary. In June 2012, Kyrgyzstan allowed the United States to use its territory to withdraw equipment from Afghanistan. In June 2013, Kyrgyzstan's parliament voted to close the US air base in June 2014. Since April 2016, Jeenbekyov has been the new prime minister. In the presidential election of October 2017, Jeenbekyov is elected president.

In October 2020, protests against the results of the parliamentary elections spread across Kyrgyzstan, leading to Jeenbekyov's resignation as president, catapulting the previously imprisoned Sadyr Japarov to the position of acting president. In January 2021, the Kyrgyz people elected Japarov as president and approved a referendum to switch Kyrgyzstan from a parliamentary to a presidential system. In April 2021, the Kyrgyz voted for a draft constitutional amendment consolidating the power of the presidency. Preliminary results of the parliamentary elections in November 2021 indicate that pro-government parties will have a majority in the Jogorku Kengesh (Kyrgyzstan's legislature). The democratisation process, endemic corruption, tense and sometimes violent inter-ethnic relations, fragile borders and the potential terrorist threat remain a concern for Kyrgyzstan.


Elmar Landeninformatie

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated March 2024
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