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What are the Heads of Central Asian Governments Remembered For?

The countries of Central Asia gained independence at about the same time, however, their further political history developed independently. In a comparative analysis, one can see the similarities and differences in the state structure, as well as in how the prime ministers of the Central Asian countries were appointed, resigned, and what they were remembered for.

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Since gaining independence, eleven prime ministers have replaced each other in Kazakhstan. Their subsequent political careers developed in different ways. While some subsequently moved even further in political or business circles, others, apparently, were disappointed in big-league politics and left it forever. For example, one of the former prime ministers was later elected to the presidency, and two more went into business after their resignation and are now on the Forbes list. Conversely, for some, things went downhill, for example, one left politics, another went into opposition and is hiding abroad, and another was convicted of corruption crimes and was removed from office. Let us take a closer look at each case, in chronological order.


Kyrgyzstan holds a record in the post-Soviet space for the change of heads of government. For 29 years of independence, 23 prime ministers have changed in Kyrgyzstan, not counting temporary appointments, and acting prime minister. What are they remembered for, and how did they leave their posts?


In 1994, a presidential form of government was adopted in Tajikistan. According to the new constitution, the government is headed by the president, where the prime minister has limited powers. The president appoints the prime minister, ministers and their deputies, and the parliament approves one or another candidate. An interesting fact is that four out of eight prime ministers of Tajikistan come from the city of Khujand, which is the second largest city in the country.


Turkmenistan is the only country that has had only one prime minister since independence. According to the current Constitution of 1992, a presidential form of government operates in Turkmenistan, where the head of government is the president, and the post of prime minister is abolished.



This material has been prepared as part of the Giving Voice, Driving Change – from the Borderland to the Steppes Project. The opinions expressed in the article do not reflect the position of the editorial board or the donor.


[1] Sergey Tereshchenko. Forbes.kz. https://forbes.kz/ranking/object/64

[2] About Prime Ministers. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/25320611.html

[3] Prime ministers of Kazakhstan: who headed the government in different years. Nur.kz. https://www.nur.kz/1780022-premer-ministry-kazahstana-kto-vozglavlal-pravitelstvo-v-raznye-gody.html

[4] Nurlan Balgimbaev. Forbes.kz. https://forbes.kz/ranking/object/92

[5] Nurlan Balgimbayev after Kazakhgate. Radio Azattyq. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/balgimbaev-nurlan-politicheskiy-portret/27318169.html

[6] What are the prime ministers of the last 10 years remembered for by the Kazakhstanis? My city. https://mgorod.kz/nitem/chem-zapomnilis-kazaxstancam-premer-ministry-poslednix-10-let/

[7] “Product of Nazarbayev”: how will the “pensioner” Tasmagambetov be remembered. Forbes.kz.  https://forbes.kz//process/appointments/nashla_kosa_na_kamen_chem_budut_vspominat_pensionera_tasmagambetova/

[8] Danial Akhmetov “registered” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Matrix.Kz. http://www.matritca.kz/news/61912-danial-ahmetov-zaregilsya-v-facebook-twitter-i-instagram.html

[9] Akhmetov, Danial Kenzhetayevich. Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danial_Kenzhetayevich_Akhmetov

[10] Kazakhstan will continue to automate public services. PROFIT.kz. https://profit.kz/news/33362/V-Kazahstane-prodolzhat-avtomatizaciu-gosuslug/

[11] Former Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov got his sentence reduced. Informburo. https://informburo.kz/novosti/eks-premeru-seriku-ahmetovu-skostili-srok-zaklyucheniya.html

[12] The early release of Akhmetov is interpreted in different ways. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/serik-akhmetov-vyshel-iz-tyurmy/28748248.html

[13] The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan has opened personal pages in social networks. PROFIT.kz. https://profit.kz/news/6980/Premer-Kazahstana-otkril-lichnie-stranichki-v-socsetyah/

[14] Askar Mamin and Karim Massimov are classmates. Kaktakto?!. https://kaktakto.com/istorii/fotofakt-askar-mamin-i-karim-masimov-odnoklassniki/

[15] Mamin, Askar Uzakpaevich. Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki//Mamin,Askar_Uzakpaevich 

[16] He was the main rival of Akayev – about the tragical death of the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan. Sputnik. https://ru.sputnik.kg/society/20181107/1041900822/isanov-fakty-gibel-dtp.html

[17] Map of Prime Ministers of Kyrgyzstan. Maalymat.kg. https://maalymat.kg/r-tandoo/227-karta-premer-ministrov-kyrgyzstana.html

[18] What is the fate of all the former prime ministers of Kyrgyzstan. Sputnik. https://ru.sputnik.kg/Kyrgyzstan/20180420/1038758168/premer-ministr-sudba-kyrgyzstan-sapar-isakov.html

[19] Prime Ministers of Kyrgyzstan. What are they remembered for and where do they come from? 24.kg. https://24.kg/vlast/82281_premer-ministryi_kyirgyizstana_chem_zapomnilis_iotkuda_rodom/

[20] What Kubanychbek Zhumaliev did with his business empire. Economist. https://economist.kg/2020/07/11/chto-sdelal-kubanychbek-zhumaliev-so-svoimi-40-firmami/

[21] 31 prime ministers. How the Prime Ministers of Kyrgyzstan were leaving their position. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/where-are-the-former-heads-of-the-government-of-kyrgyzstan/30924128.html

[22] Murzaliev (Muraliev) Amangeldy Mursadykovich. Centrasia. https://centrasia.org/person2.php?st=1013871119

[23] The imprisoned son of the ex-prime minister of Kyrgyzstan has been softened the conditions of detention. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/30247527.html#

[24] Bakiev, Kurmanbek Salievich. Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurmanbek_Salievich_Bakiev

[25] Former Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Nikolai Tanaev died. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyk.org/a/30735859.html

[26] Kerimkulov Medetbek Temirbekovich. Vecherniy Bishkek. https://www.vb.kg/doc/234894_kerimkylov_medetbek_temirbekovich.html

[27] The Tulip Revolution ended with the inauguration. Deutsche Welle. https://www.dw.com/ru/tulip-revolution-finished-inauguration/a-1679775

[28] Dossier of politicians and public figures living in the countries of Central Asia or associated with the region. Stan Radar. https://stanradar.com/bio/full/44-kulov-feliks-sharshenbaevich.htmlv

[29] Less than Isakov are the “short-term” prime ministers of Kyrgyzstan. Sputnik. https://ru.sputnik.kg/politics/20180419/1038747153/premer-ministr-sapar-isakov-otstavka-srok.html

[30] List of heads of government of Kyrgyzstan. Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Список_глав_правительства_Киргизии

[31] Igor Chudinov was deprived of his deputy mandate by the decision of the CEC. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyk.org/a/29291461.html

[32] Kyrgyz ex-Prime Minister Usenov  – is now a businessman in Belarus Uritsky. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyk.org/a/kyrgyzstan_politics_corruption_parliament_crime_chudinov/29292024.html

[33] The first president in Central Asia to leave voluntarily. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/roza_otunbaeva_kyrgyzstan/24409291.html

[34] “It was a test.” Why did Omurbek Babanov not come to Kyrgyzstan? Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyk.org/a/kyrgyzstan_omurbek_babanov/29878971.html

[35] Protesters in Bishkek freed former President Atambayev from the detention center. Kommersant. https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4520148

[36] The “horse scandal” caused a political crisis. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyk.org/a/kyrgyzstan_babano_horse/24682483.html

[37] In Kyrgyzstan, ex-Prime Minister Satybaldiev was released from the colony. RBC. https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/5f7c0b0e9a79474c0b97e426

[38] The Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan explained his resignation with a desire to give way to others. RIA News. https://ria.ru/20150423/1060425955.html

[39] The Kyrgyz prime minister resigned over a road repair scandal. Interfax. https://www.interfax.ru/business/503111

[40] Sooronbay Jeenbekov resigned from the post of President of Kyrgyzstan. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/30894429.html

[41] Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammedkaly Abylgaziev resigns. Deutsche Welle. https://www.dw.com//ru/primier-kirgizia-mukhammedkaly-bylgaziev-receding-to- retirement/a-53816637

[42] Kyrgyzstan: a country in search of a way out of a large-scale crisis. Anadolu Agency. https://www.aa.com.tr/ru/world/Kyrgyzstan-country-in-search-exit-from-large-crisis/2000245

[43] Is Kyrgyzstan’s judicial system keeping pace with the new leader? Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/analysis-kyrgyz-judiciary-seemingly-moving-in-step-with-new-leader-japarov/30914686.html

[44] The government of Kyrgyzstan was headed by Artem Novikov. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyk.org/a/30950976.html

[45] Karimov won the elections “without competition.” Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyk.org/a/26929279.html

[46] Uzbekistan: the country’s authoritarian president Islam Karimov dies. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/ru/news/2016/09/02/293685

[47] Mutalov, Abdulkhashim Mutalovich. Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdulkhashim_Mutalovich_Mutalov#cite_note-1

[48] ​​Border of the Kyrgyz Republic with RUz. The secret reveals. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyk.org/a/26784103.html

[49] Biography of Shavkat Mirziyoyev – Prime Minister of Uzbekistan. Sputnik. https://uz.sputniknews.ru/politics/20160903/3641745.html

[50] Uzdunrobita (MTS-Uzbekistan). Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzdunrobita_(MTS-Uzbekistan)#Bankruptcy_Procedure

[51] Aripov, Abdulla Nigmatovich. TASS. https://tass.ru/encyclopedia/person/aripov-abdulla-nigmatovich

[52] Longtime Official Dismissed By Karimov Chosen As Uzbek Prime Minister. RFE / RL. https://www.rferl.org/a/uzbekistan-prime-minister-nominated/28171532.html

[53] KHAEEV Izatullo. Centrasia. https://centrasia.org/person2.php?st=1013881228

[54] The ex-chairman of the Council of Ministers of Tajikistan died. Vecherniy Dushanbe. https://vecherka.tj/archives/19833

[55] Mirzoev, Akbar. Academician. https://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/ruwiki/245295

[56] “Position” of Akbar Mirzoev, ex-Prime Minister of Tajikistan. TopTJ.com. http://www.toptj.com/News/2015/11/18/poziciya-akbara-mirzoeva-eks-premer-ministra-tadzhikistana

[57] Karimov Jamshed Hilolovich. Bulletin of Zamoskvorechye. https://zamos.ru/dossier/k/8840/

[58] Abdumalik Abdullajanov: I am not satisfied with the court’s decision. VIDEO. RFE / RL. https://rus.ozodi.org/a/abdullajanov-doesnt-agree-with-court-decision-video-photo/24895878.html 

[59] The former Tajik prime minister was released from the pre-trial detention center in Kiev. Online.zakon.kz. https://online.zakon.kz/Document/?doc_id=31355092#pos=3;-52

[60] Samadov Abdujalil Akhadovich. Prime Minister of Tajikistan (1993-1994). Bulletin of Zamoskvorechye. https://zamos.ru/dossier/s/4350/

[61] Constitution of Tajikistan. Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tajikistan_Constitution

[62] Azimov, Yahyo Nuridinovich. Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org//wiki/Yahyo_Nuridinovich_Azimov

[63] Yahyo Azimov: Skillful economist and worthy leader. ASIA-Plus. https://asiaplustj.info/ru/news/life/person/20171204/yahyo-azimov-umelii-ekonomist-i-dostoinii-rukovoditel

[64] Dossier of politicians and public figures living in the countries of Central Asia or associated with the region. Stanradar. https://stanradar.com/bio/full/189-akilov-akil-gajbullaevich.html

[65] The Prime Minister of Tajikistan was dismissed. Lenta.Ru. https://lenta.ru/news/2013/11/23/tajik/

[66] Kohir Rasulzoda (personal information). Online.zakon. https://online.zakon.kz/Document/?doc_id=31882487#pos=1;-16

[67] Akhmedov, Khan. TurkmenWiki. http://wiki-tm.com/index.php/Khan_Ahmedov

[68] Former Turkmen Premier Dies in Internal Exile. RFE / RL. https://www.rferl.org/a/1073273.html

[69] TURKMEN ELITE – LOOKING FROM INSIDE. Ctaj.elcat.kg. http://www.ctaj.elcat.kg/tolstyi/a/a063.htm

[70] Former Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan and Minister of Oil and Gas Nazar Suyunov spoke about the clan war in the country and relations with Gazprom. CentralAsia.media. https://centralasia.media/print:1342217

[71] Constitution of Turkmenistan. Wikipedia. https://ru.wikipedia.org//wiki/Constitution_Turkmenia

[72] Askar Mamin remains the prime minister of Kazakhstan. Radio Azattyk. https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31047666.html

[73] The government of Kyrgyzstan resigned. RIA News. https://ria.ru/20210121/kirgiziya-1593961228.html

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