August 6, 2008 / 11:47 AM / 11 years ago

TIMELINE: Mauritania gripped by another coup

(Reuters) - Presidential guardsmen seized Mauritanian President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in a coup on Wednesday after he sacked several top army officers, the president’s daughter said.

Here is a chronology of events in the largely desert Mauritania since independence:

November 1960 - Mauritania becomes independent from France as the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, with Moktar Ould Daddah as president.

1964 - Daddah proclaims a one-party state and the next year all parties merge to form the Parti du Peuple Mauritanienne.

1966 & 1971 - Daddah is re-elected as president.

1975 - Mauritania is declared an Islamic Socialist Republic.

July 1978 - Daddah is deposed in a bloodless coup by Moustapha Ould Mohamed Salek who assumed absolute power as president in March 1979.

December 1984 - After a number of coup attempts, Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya seizes power and proclaims himself president. Almost two years later, Taya imposes sharia law.

January 1992 - Taya is elected president with nearly 63 percent of the vote under a 1991 constitution permitting multiple political parties, but opposition candidates denounce the victory as fraudulent.

— Taya is re-elected in 1997 and 2003 after another coup attempt in June that year.

August 2005 - The army seizes power to end Taya’s regime, and says it plans to rule for up to two years.

November 2005 - 17-member junta pledges to hold presidential elections in March 2007.

June 2006 - In a referendum meant to end decades of coup attempts, voters overwhelmingly back constitutional changes ensuring no president can serve for more than a decade.

March 2007 - Former minister Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi wins a presidential run-off poll with 52.85 percent of the vote defeating his rival, opposition figure Ahmed Ould Daddah. Abdallahi was sworn in on April 19.

July 2008 - Abdallahi asks Prime Minister Yahya Ahmed El Waghef to form a new cabinet after the prime minister and his government resign following criticism over the government’s response to soaring food prices.

August 2008 - Presidential guardsmen seize Abdallahi in a coup after he sacked several top army officers.

Sources: Reuters/Europa:

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