Felix Sharshenbayevich Kulov (Russian: Феликс Шаршенбаевич Кулов; Kyrgyz: Феликс Шаршенбаевич (Шаршенбай уулу) Кулов, Feliks Sharshenbayevich (Sharshenbay uulu) Kulov; born 29 October 1948) is a Kyrgyz politician who was Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan from 2005 to 2007, following the Tulip Revolution. He first served from 1 September 2005 until he resigned on 19 December 2006.[1] President Kurmanbek Bakiyev reappointed him acting Prime Minister the same day,[2] but parliamentary opposition meant Bakiyev's attempts to renominate Kulov in January 2007 were unsuccessful, and on 29 January the assembly's members approved a replacement.

Felix Kulov
Феликс Кулов
Феликс Кулов.jpg
Kulov in 2012
9th Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan
In office
1 September 2005 – 29 January 2007
Acting: 15 August 2005 – 1 September 2005
PresidentKurmanbek Bakiyev
Preceded byKurmanbek Bakiyev
Succeeded byAzim Isabekov
Vice President of Kyrgyzstan
In office
27 February 1992 – 10 December 1993
PresidentAskar Akayev
Preceded byGerman Kuznetsov
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born (1948-10-10) 10 October 1948 (age 73)
Frunze, Kyrgyz SSR, Soviet Union (now Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
Political partyAr-Namys
Spouse(s)Naila Mamakanovna Bayaliev

Kulov cofounded and leads Ar-Namys, a political party, and chairs the People's Congress, an electoral alliance to which Ar-Namys belongs.

Political careerEdit

Kulov was born in Frunze (present-day Bishkek), and initially trained as a policeman. Between 1978 and 1998 he held various posts in the Kyrgyz government, including Minister of the Interior, Minister for National Security and Governor of Chuy Province. From 1992–1993 he was Vice President, in which position he oversaw the launch of the Kyrgyz currency, the Som. However, he was forced to resign following a scandal over missing gold reserves.

From 1998 to 1999 Kulov served as Mayor of Bishkek, becoming a popular politician in the city. In 1999 he participated in the formation of Ar-Namys, becoming its first leader. In February 2000 he announced his intention to run as a member of the Supreme Council. Kyrgyz police arrested him a month later for corruption. On 22 January 2001 a military court found him guilty and sentenced him to seven years in prison. He was cleared of all charges against him in 2005, and in 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee found several civil rights violations in his detention and trial.[3]

Kyrgyz revolution, 2005Edit

On March 24, 2005, Kulov was released during the Kyrgyz revolution (the Tulip Revolution) and appointed as co-ordinator of law enforcement and security services (effectively, the Kyrgyz head of security) by acting president and prime minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev. He resigned this position on March 30, saying that he had restored order.

On 6 April a special working group of the Kyrgyz Supreme Court was formed to review Kulov's earlier prosecution and convictions, and by 11 April he had been cleared of all charges. During this time period Kulov was accused by politician and alleged crime figure Ryspek Akmatbayev of organising the murder of his brother Tynychbek, leading to a national wave of protests.[4]

Kulov initially announced his intention to stand as a candidate for president in the elections scheduled for 10 July. It was unclear at first whether language would be a barrier to his election: the president is required by law to be fluent in the Kyrgyz language, and in common with many from the north of the country, Kulov's native tongue is Russian. The issue became moot, however, when he withdrew his candidacy in mid-May, pledging his support to Bakiyev. At that time he was also appointed Acting First Deputy Prime Minister. He was already expected to be appointed as prime minister by the elected president. Bakiyev won the election in July. He was sworn in on 11 August. He appointed Kulov acting prime minister. On 1 September 2005, Kulov was confirmed as prime minister by the Kyrgyz parliament, by a vote of 55 to 8.[5]

Kyrgyz politics since 2005Edit

Kulov served as Prime Minister until 19 December 2006 when he resigned, automatically triggering the dismissal of his cabinet per the Constitution.[6] President Bakiyev immediately appointed him Acting Prime Minister. Bakiyev appointed Kulov Prime Minister again in mid-January 2007.

Parliamentarians voted 39 to 23 against the confirmation of Kulov, 15 votes short the minimum for confirmation, on 18 January 2007. Opposition Parliamentarian Azimbek Beknazarov told Kulov prior to the vote, "I may be wrong, but I believe your nomination will be rejected. Be brave and admit that you cannot perform your duties of prime minister. Admit that you have been unable to do so for the past year-and-a-half. I think it would be better if you refused [to be reappointed]. Be a man!"

President Bakiyev renominated Kulov the next day, since the new constitution permits the same candidate to be presented three times.[7] The Kyrgyz Parliament's Constitution Committee ruled on 22 January 2007 that Bakiyev could not renominate Kulov because it violated the Constitution. Committee chairman Iskhak Masaliyev told Bakiyev to nominate someone else. Myrza Kaparov, Bakiyev's envoy to the Parliament disagreed, telling Parliamentarians, "We must also refer to the constitutional law on government, which says that the president has the right to submit the candidacy three times. If the Jorgorku Kenesh rejects his choice three times, you know all the consequences. Everything is clearly written in this law."[8]

After Kulov's nomination failed for the second time on 26 January, the president nominated agriculture minister Azim Isabekov, a close associate of his and former deputy head of the Presidential Administration, on 26 January 2007.[9]

In February, Kulov joined an opposition group, the United Front for a Worthy Future for Kyrgyzstan, which called for an early presidential election.[10] As leader of the group, he has also supported the idea of establishing a confederation with Russia.[11]

Anti-Bakiyev protests from April 11 to April 19, 2007 culminated with clashes between the protesters and the police, and Kulov was questioned in connection with the clashes on April 21, after initially refusing to appear for questioning on the previous day. Kulov blamed the authorities for the clashes.[12] On August 1, 2007, Kulov was charged with creating public disorder in connection with the clashes.[13]


  1. ^ Pannier, Bruce (2006-12-19). "Kyrgyz Government Resigns". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  2. ^ "Kyrgyz president appoints former prime minister acting PM". RIA Novosti. 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  3. ^ HRC views in Kulov v. Kyrgyzstan, Communication No. 1369/2005 U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/99/D/1369/2005
  4. ^ Kommersant - Революция авторитетов (Russian)
  5. ^ Rulers - September 2005, 1, rulers.org, undated. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Kyrgyz Parliament rejects Kulov's nomination as Prime Minister". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  7. ^ "Kyrgyz President resubmits Kulov candidacy To Lawmakers". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2007-01-19. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  8. ^ "Kyrgyz Committee rejects Kulov's renomination". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2007-01-22. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  9. ^ "Kyrgyz president names agriculture minister as new candidate for premier". Kyiv Post. 2007-01-26. Archived from the original on 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  10. ^ Bruce Pannier, "Kyrgyzstan: New Opposition Movement Fuels Ongoing Political Dispute", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, February 20, 2007.
  11. ^ "Kyrgyz Opposition Campaigns For Confederation With Russia", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, June 2, 2007.
  12. ^ "Kyrgyz Opposition Leader Questioned Over Disorder", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, April 21, 2007.
  13. ^ "Kyrgyz Ex-PM Charged with Creating Public Disorder", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 1, 2007.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Vice President of Kyrgyzstan
Position abolished
Preceded by Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan
Succeeded by