Page last updated at 09:02 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 10:02 UK

Profile: Roza Otunbayeva

Roza Otunbayeva (file image from February 2005)
Ms Otunbayeva has represented Kyrgyzstan in both the US and UK

A day after violent protests appeared to oust the Kyrgyz government, the Central Asian nation is being led by a former Foreign Minister, Roza Otunbayeva.

A one-time ally of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Ms Otunbayeva served in his cabinet in the months immediately after the 2005 "Tulip Revolution".

But she later joined the opposition and was elected to parliament as a member of the Social Democratic Party.

A philosophy graduate, Ms Otunbayeva studied in Moscow before beginning her political career.

In 1992, a year after independence, she became the former Soviet republic's first ambassador to the United States.

Two years later she was named foreign minister by President Askar Akayev, a role she served in for three years.

She then moved to London, as Kyrgyzstan's first post-Soviet ambassador to the UK, and followed that up by serving as the United Nations deputy special representative on Georgia.

Returning to Bishkek in 2004, she set up the Ata Dzhurt political party to contest the 2005 elections, having fallen out with Mr Akayev.

"We will not allow anybody to build a monarchic dynasty in our civilised republic," she told BBC in February 2005, a month before protests swept Mr Akayev from power.

She was a driving force behind the protests and was named by the new president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, as acting foreign minister.

But parliament later failed to confirm her in the post - a move she blamed on former Akayev allies in the chamber.

She then moved into an opposition role. Before these protests erupted she represented the Social Democratic Party in parliament.

She says her interim government will remain in place for six months, preparing a new constitution under which free and fair elections will be held.

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