Bakiyev, Kurmanbek Saliyevich (kōrmänbĕkˈ bäkēˈyĕv) [key], 1949–, Kyrgyz political leader, president of Kyrgyzstan (2005–2010), b. Masadan. A graduate of Kuybyshev Polytechnic Institute (1972), he served in the Soviet armed forces (1974–76) and worked as an electrical engineer and factory manager before entering politics in 1990. Bakiyev held various government posts, becoming prime minister in 2000. He was forced to resign in 2002, in the wake of violent government clashes with the opposition, and then became the leader of the People's Movement of Kyrgyzstan. Following another uprising and the forced exile of President Askar Akayev in Mar., 2005, Bakiyev was named interim president and prime minister. In the July, 2005, presidential election he ran on a platform of attacking the country's endemic poverty and corruption; his reelection in July, 2009, was marked by widespread irregularities. As Bakiyev's government became increasing authoritarian, opposition to him increased, and he went into exile in Apr., 2010, in the face of growing opposition protests and a subsequent self-proclaimed opposition interim government. In Feb., 2013, Bakiyev was convicted in absentia of abuse of office and sentenced to 24 years in prison.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.