Askar Akayev

Askar Akayevich Akayev (Kyrgyz: Аскар Акаевич Акаев; [ɑskɑr ɑkɑevitʃ ɑkɑev]; born 10 November 1944) is a Kyrgyz politician who served as President of Kyrgyzstan from 1990 until being overthrown in the March 2005 Tulip Revolution.

Askar Akayev
Аскар Акаев
Askar Akayevich Akayev.jpg
Akayev in September 2001
1st President of Kyrgyzstan
In office
27 October 1990 – 24 March 2005
Prime MinisterNasirdin Isanov
Andrei Iordan (Acting)
Tursunbek Chyngyshev
Almanbet Matubraimov (Acting)
Apas Jumagulov
Kubanychbek Jumaliyev
Boris Silayev (Acting)
Jumabek Ibraimov
Boris Silayev (Acting)
Amangeldy Muraliyev
Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Nikolai Tanayev
Vice PresidentNasirdin Isanov
German Kuznetsov
Feliks Kulov
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byIshenbai Kadyrbekov (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1944-11-10) 10 November 1944 (age 76)
Kyzyl-Bayrak, Kirghiz SSR, Soviet Union
(now Kyrgyzstan)
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Mayram Akayeva
Children4, including Bermet and Aidar
ResidenceMoscow, Russia

Education and early careerEdit

Akayev was born in Kyzyl-Bayrak, Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic.[1] He was the eldest of five sons born into a family of collective farm workers. He became a metalworker at a local factory in 1961. He subsequently moved to Leningrad, where he trained as a physicist and graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Precision Mechanics and Optics in 1967 with an honors degree in mathematics, engineering and computer science. He stayed at the institute until 1976, working as a senior researcher and teacher. In Leningrad he met and in 1970 married Mayram Akayeva with whom he now has two sons and two daughters. They returned to their native Kyrgyzstan in 1977, where he became a senior professor at the Frunze Polytechnic Institute. Some of his later cabinet members were former students and friends from his academic years.

He obtained a doctorate in 1981 from the Moscow Institute of Engineering and Physics, having written his dissertation on holographic systems of storage and transformation of information. In 1984, he became a member of the Kirghiz Academy of Sciences, rose to vice president of the Academy in 1987 and then president of the Academy in 1989. He was elected as a deputy in the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in the same year.

Political careerEdit

Akayev with Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin in Moscow in 2001.

On 25 October 1990, the Kirghiz SSR's Supreme Soviet held elections for the newly created post of president of the republic. Two candidates contested the presidency, President of the Council of Ministers of Kirghiz SSR, Apas Jumagulov, and First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kirghiz SSR, Absamat Masaliyev. However, neither Jumagulov nor Masaliyev received a majority of the votes cast. In accordance with the Kirghiz SSR's constitution of 1978, both candidates were disqualified and neither could run in the second round of voting.

Two days later, on 27 October, the Supreme Soviet selected Akayev who was effectively a compromise candidate to serve as the republic's first president. In 1991, he was offered the post of vice-president of the Soviet Union by President Mikhail Gorbachev, but refused. Akayev was elected president of the renamed Republic of Kyrgyzstan in an uncontested poll on 12 October 1991. He was reelected twice, amid allegations of ballot rigging, on 24 December 1995 and 29 October 2000.

Akayev was initially seen as an economically right-wing liberal leader. He commented in a 1991 interview that "Although I am a Communist, my basic attitude toward private property is favorable. I believe that the revolution in the sphere of economics was not made by Karl Marx but by Adam Smith."[2] As late as 1993 political analysts saw Akayev as a "prodemocratic physicist."[3] He actively promoted privatization of land and other economic assets and operated a relatively liberal regime compared with the governments of the other Central Asian nations. He was granted lifelong immunity from prosecution by the Lower House of Parliament in 2003.

Akayev was supportive of the Kyrgyzstani Neo-Tengrist movement.[4][5][6][7]


The first wave of demonstrations took place in mid-March 2002. Azimbek Beknazarov, a member of parliament accused of abuse of power, was due to attend trial taking place in Jalal-Abad. Over 2,000 demonstrators marched on the town where the proceedings were to take place. According to eyewitnesses, police ordered the demonstrators to stop and gave them fifteen minutes to disperse, yet opened fire before this time elapsed. Five men were shot dead; another was killed on the next day. 61 people were injured, including 47 police and 14 civilians.

Riot police clashed with protesters in Bishkek in May during demonstrations in support of Beknazarov. Police in the capital's Parliament square kicked protesters and dragged people away to break up the 200-strong crowd. They made several demands including the resignation of Akayev. This was again repeated in November of the same year when scores were arrested as the opposition marched on the capital. Protests continued, albeit on a smaller scale, at various points over the next few years.

2005 election controversyEdit

Akayev with Vladimir Putin in Bishkek, December 2002

Akayev had promised to step down from office when his third term expired in 2005, but the possibility of a dynastical succession had been raised. His son Aidar Akayev and his daughter Bermet Akayeva were candidates in the 2005 legislative election, and it was widely suspected that he was going to retain either de facto power by arranging for the election of a close supporter or relative, or perhaps even by abrogation of the term limit provision in the constitution and remaining in power personally, an allegation which he strongly denied.

The results of the elections were disputed, with allegations of vote-rigging. Two of Akayev's children won seats. Serious protests broke out in Osh and Jalal-Abad, with protesters occupying administration buildings and the Osh airport. The government declared that it was ready to negotiate with the demonstrators. However an opposition leader said talks would only be worthwhile if the President himself took part.

Akayev refused to resign, but pledged not to use force to end the protests, which he attributed to foreign interests seeking to provoke a large-scale clamp-down in response.

Akayev on a Kyrgyzstani stamp.

On 23 March, Akayev announced the dismissal of Interior Minister Bakirdin Subanbekov and General Prosecutor Myktybek Abdyldayev for "poor work" in dealing with the growing protests.


On 24 March 2005, protesters stormed the presidential compound in the central square of Bishkek and seized control of the seat of state power after clashing with riot police during a large opposition rally. Opposition supporters also seized control of key cities and towns in the south to press demands that Akayev step down.

That day, Akayev fled the country with his family, reportedly escaping first to Kazakhstan and then to Russia. Russian president Vladimir Putin invited Akayev to stay in Russia. There were early reports that he had tendered his resignation to opposition leaders before his departure. However, his formal resignation did not come until 4 April, when a delegation of members of parliament from Kyrgyzstan met him in Russia.

The Kyrgyz Parliament accepted the resignation on 11 April 2005, after stripping him and his family members of special privileges that had been granted to him by the previous parliament. He was also formally stripped of the title of "First President of Kyrgyzstan".

Current position and activitiesEdit

Akayev in Moscow, 2016

Akayev now works as Professor and Senior Researcher of Prigogine Institute for Mathematical Investigations of Complex Systems at Moscow State University.[8] Together with Andrey Korotayev and George Malinetsky he is a coordinator of the Russian Academy of Sciences Program "System Analysis and Mathematical Modeling of World Dynamics".[9] He is also Academic Supervisor of the Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow.[10]

In July 2021, Akayev was put on a wanted list for his involvement in operations at the Kumtor Gold Mine. The following month, Akayev returned to Bishkek for the first time in 16 years in order to cooperate with the investigation,[11] expressing his appreciation to President Sadyr Japarov for allowing him to return.[12]


Akayev in Washington, 2002

Foreign honoursEdit


  • Когерентные оптические вычислительные машины (в соавт., Ленинград, 1977),
  • Оптические методы обработки информации (в соавт., М., 1983);
  • Holographic Memory. New York, NY: Allerton Press, 1997;
  • Избранные лекции по оптическим компьютерам, Бишкек, 1996;
  • Рельефография, Бишкек, 1996.
  • Переходная экономика глазами физика (математическая модель переходной экономики). Бишкек: Учкун, 2000;
  • Думая о будущем с оптимизмом: Размышления о внешней политике и мироустройстве. М.: Международные отношения, 2004.
  • Современный финансово-экономический кризис в свете теории инновационно-технологического развития экономики и управления инновационным процессом // Системный мониторинг. Глобальное и региональное развитие. М.: Editorial URSS, 2009. ISBN 978-5-397-00917-1. С. 141–162.
  • О новой методологии долгосрочного циклического прогнозирования динамики развития мировой системы и России // Прогноз и моделирование кризисов и мировой динамики. — М.: ЛИБРОКОМ, 2009. С. 5-69.
  • Log-Periodic Oscillation Analysis Forecasts the Burst of the «Gold Bubble» // Structure and Dynamics 4/3 (2010): 1-11 (with Alexey Fomin, Sergey Tsirel, and Andrey Korotayev).
  • Моделирование и прогнозирование мировой динамики. М.: ИСПИ РАН, 2012. ISBN 978-5-7556-0456-7
  • On the dynamics of the world demographic transition and financial-economic crises forecasts // The European Physical Journal 205, 355-373 (2012) (with Viktor Sadovnichy & Andrey Korotayev).
  • Global Inflation Dynamics: regularities & forecasts // Structure and Dynamics 5/3 (2012): 1-15 (with Andrey Korotayev and Alexey Fomin).
  • Technological development and protest waves: Arab spring as a trigger of the global phase transition // Technological Forecasting & Social Change 116 (2017): 316–321 (with Andrey Korotayev).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dennis Kavanagh (1998). "Akayev, Askar". A Dictionary of Political Biography. Oxford University Press. p. 5.[dead link][ISBN missing]
  2. ^ "Akayev: 'All of a Sudden I Become President'", The Christian Science Monitor, 10 January 1991
  3. ^ Central Asia and the World Google books
  4. ^ "High-ranking Kyrgyz official proposes new national ideology". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Erik. "Tengrism". Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  8. ^ Akaev, A.; Sadovnichy, V.; Korotayev, A. (1 May 2012). "On the dynamics of the world demographic transition and financial-economic crises forecasts". The European Physical Journal Special Topics. 205 (1): 355–373. Bibcode:2012EPJST.205..355A. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2012-01578-2. S2CID 55017830. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  9. ^ AK. "- Закономерности прошлого помогают выбрать будущее". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  10. ^ Technological development and protest waves: Arab spring as a trigger of the global phase transition?. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 116 (2017): 316-321.
  11. ^ "Аскар Акаев: Я приехал сотрудничать, помогать и расскажу все, что знаю по Кумтору".
  12. ^ Radio Free Europe: Kyrgyzstan Allows Fugitive Ex-President Akaev To Return In Attempt To Bolster Case For Gold Mine
  13. ^ Slovak republic website, State honours Archived 13 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine: 1st Class in 2003 (click on "Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross" to see the holders' table)
  14. ^ The International N. D. Kondratieff Foundation Archived 12 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Position created
President of Kyrgyzstan
1990 – 2005
Succeeded by