updated 2/17/2008 7:50:33 PM ET 2008-02-18T00:50:33

Pakistan votes for a new parliament on Monday. Here are some key dates charting the country's troubled transition back to democracy after the 1999 coup by the army chief, Gen. Pervez Musharraf:

  • Oct. 12, 1999 -- Musharraf takes power in a coup after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tries to fire him as army chief. Sharif is jailed, then exiled.
  • Sept. 11, 2001 -- Al-Qaida launches attacks in the U.S. Musharraf throws his support to the U.S., abandoning the Taliban and enraging many devout Muslims.
  • April 30, 2002 -- Musharraf holds a widely criticized referendum to secure himself a five-year term as president and promises to restore democracy.
  • Oct. 10, 2002 -- Flawed elections install a pro-Musharraf parliament. Islamist parties boosted by opposition to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan gain control of two of Pakistan's four provinces.
  • Dec. 30, 2004 -- Musharraf reneges on promise to stand down as army chief, gains support of parliament to stay on until 2007.
  • March 9, 2007 -- Musharraf suspends Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, sparking a protest movement against military rule.
  • July 20, 2007 -- Supreme Court clears Chaudhry of charges he abused his office and restores him as Pakistan's top judge.
  • Oct. 6, 2007 -- Parliament votes Musharraf a new five-year term despite boycott by opposition parties who call the election unconstitutional.
  • Oct. 18, 2007 -- Opposition party leader Benazir Bhutto returns from exile to Pakistan. She narrowly escapes a suicide bombing that kills about 150 people during a homecoming procession in Karachi.
  • Nov. 3, 2007 -- Musharraf imposes a state of emergency, suspending the constitution and purging the Supreme Court, which was set to rule on the legality of his re-election.
  • Nov. 25, 2007 -- The other key opposition leader, Sharif, returns from exile to campaign against Musharraf and to lead his party in upcoming elections.
  • Nov. 28, 2007 -- Musharraf resigns as army chief, remains as a civilian president.
  • Dec. 27, 2007 -- Bhutto dies in a suicide attack, sparking deadly riots and forcing a six-week delay in elections. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, takes control of her Pakistan People's Party.
  • Feb. 18, 2007 -- Pakistan votes for a new parliament.

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