Atambayev, Almazbek Sharshenovich

Atambayev, Almazbek Sharshenovich, 1956–, Kyrgyz political leader, grad. Moscow Institute of Management (1983). An economist and Communist party member, he served (1983–87) on the Supreme Council of the Kyrgyz SSR. After independence, he became a successful businessman and was elected to parliament. A founder (1993) of the Social Democratic party and its head from 1999, he was its presidential candidate in 2000. He briefly (2005–6) served as minister of industry, trade, and tourism, and led antigovernment protests in Bishkek in 2006. Appointed prime minister in 2007 by President Bakiyev, he resigned later that year. In 2009 he again ran for president but withdrew before the voting, charging planned fraud. Following Bakiyev's exile and parliamentary elections in 2010, Atambayev became prime minister. In 2011 he won the presidency in a landslide, but the election was marred by irregularities. He supported Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov to succeed him, but after a number of Atambayev's allies were dismissed or arrested on corruption charges after Jeenbekov became president, Atambayev broke with him. In 2019 the parliament voted to remove Atambayev's immunity (as a former president) from prosecution, and after violently resisting arresthe was arrested and charged with corruption, murder, and organizing mass arrest. He was convicted on corruption-related charges in 2020, but the supreme court ordered a retrial later in the year.

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