(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.