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Omurbek Tekebayev was born in Jalalabad in 1958, he went on to graduate in physics and law from Kyrgyz State National University. He first involvement in politics was in 1991 where he was a founding member of the Erkin Kyrgyzstan Democratic Party. However due to internal party differences he went on to form the Ata Meken party in 1992, it is considered a centre left party. He then became an MP in parliament from 1995-2005.
He became a leading opponent of Askar Akayev the first president of Kyrgyzstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the 2000 presidential elections, he managed to win 14% of the vote. In 2005 following the disputed parliamentary elections, he was elected speaker of parliament. He became a key player in the negotiations between Bakiyev and Akayev during the ‘Tulip Revolution,' as the ousted president Akayev refused to recognise the interim government, but he did recognise Tekebayev’s position in it. The negotiations failed, but he had become a key figure in Kyrgyz politics.
In February 2006 he resigned as speaker of parliament due to political disputes with President Bakiyev. Later in 2006 heroin was found in Tekebayev’s luggage in Poland, which is regarded as an attempt by his opponents to discredit him. Tekebayev took on a new role as co-chairmen of the 'For Reforms' political movement, a group who opposed President Bakiyev. He was later arrested by Bakiyev for leading the protests against the government in 2010. When the interim president Roza Otunbayeva took over in 2010 he appointed Tekebayev Deputy in Charge of Constitutional reform. In 2014 Tekebayev withdrew Ata-Meken, his party, from the ruling government coalition.
Tekebayev is perceived as one of the few political leaders who can attract support from across all the regions. It is worth remembering that he also receives equally widespread disapproval.
1991 - Founding member of Erkin Kyrgyzstan Democratic Party
1992 - Founded Ata Meken (fatherland party)
1995 - Ran for president for the 1st time
2000 - Presidential elections, he managed to win 14% of the vote.
2005 - Following parliamentary elections, he was elected speaker of parliament
2006 – He created the For Reforms party
2006-2007 - Helped lead protests against Bakiyev
March 2007 - He stepped down as the chairmen of the party
April 2010 - Tekebayev was arrested for leading protests against President Bakiyev
2010 - Appointed Deputy in Charge of Constitutional reform in the interim government
2014 - Tekebayev withdrew his party, Ata-Meken, from the Kyrgyz government coalition