The area currently known as the Kyrgyz Republic has been the scene of many invasions including that of the Mongols in the 13th Century.
In 1876 the area was occupied and annexed by the Russian Empire and in 1918 the area was taken over by the Soviets.
In August 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country regained its independence and was named the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. It was renamed the Kyrgyz Republic in 1993.
In the 1990 elections, as the only legitimate party, the Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan retained 90% of the seats in the Supreme Council, the balance going to independents.
In 1991 Askar Akayev won the presidential election with 95.4% of the vote and remained in power until he was ousted in March 2005 in what was called the Tulip Revolution. In the July there were fresh elections and Akayev’s Vice President, Kurmanbek Bakiev, was elected president with 88.9% of the vote.
He won again in 2009 but was ousted in the April of 2010. An interim government was formed and led by Roza Otunbayeva who holds the role of president until a new president is elected in 2011.
In June 2010 a referendum was held in which there was overwhelming support for reforms to change the country from an executive presidential to a parliamentary system.
Since 1990 there have been five parliamentary elections for the Supreme Council or Jogorku Kengesh, the unicameral parliament. In 2010, after Bakiev had been ousted, Ata-Zhurt (Ata–Jurt) which has said that it would return him to power and restore an executive president was the largest party in the general election with 28 of the 120 seats in the Supreme council.
After several months of negotiations, three parties agreed to form a coalition government, Ata Zhurt, the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) and Respublika. By joining a coalition government and establishing a Cabinet the Ata Zhurt party, in effect, endorsed a parliamentary democracy.
The President is the Head of State and may serve one six year term.
The unicameral Supreme Council or Jogorku Kengesh has 120 members elected to serve five year terms.
The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016 places Kyrgyzstan at joint 136th out of 176 countries with a CPI 2016 score of 28 (where 100 is least corrupt).