Otunbayeva sworn in as Kyrgyz presidentBy DPA, IANS
Saturday, July 3, 2010
BISHKEK/MOSCOW - Rosa Otunbayeva was sworn in as caretaker president of Kyrgyzstan Saturday, three months after her predecessor, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was ousted in a popular uprising.
The 59-year-old took the oath of office at a ceremony in the capital, Bishkek, media reports said. Otunbayeva, a former ambassador to Britain and the US, is the first woman to hold the highest office in the Central Asian country.
Officially, she is to serve as head of a transitional government until the end of 2011, after which she plans to withdraw from politics. Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections are scheduled for October.
An overwhelming majority of voters in a referendum last weekend voted for a new constitution. The transitional government aims to introduce political reforms in the mountainous nation, which shares a border with China.
Otunbayeva played a leading role in Bakiyev’s overthrow, which preceded ethnic unrest involving Kyrgyz and the Uzbek minority in the south of the country and leaving about 2,000 people dead.
Otunbayeva has blamed the former president’s supporters for the violence. She repeatedly called on Russia to send peacekeepers to the south of the country. The Kremlin, however, turned down the request.