Kyrgyzstan timeline

Here is a timeline on Kyrgyzstan in the last 20 years:

June/July 1990 - Authorities sack a police chief and local government chief after the Soviet Central Asian republic of Kirghizia authorities fight to contain ethnic tension between Uzbeks and the majority Kirghiz.

-- Around 300 people were killed in the clashes.

Aug. 31, 1991 - The Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan declares independence from the Soviet Union.

Oct. 13 - Askar Akayev, the only candidate in Kyrgyzstan’s first presidential election is elected, pledging reform but rejecting a call for early democratic elections to parliament.

Oct. 23, 2003 - Russian President Vladimir Putin opens an airbase, Russia’s first post-Soviet military outpost abroad and a springboard for reviving its clout in volatile Central Asia.

Feb. 27, 2005 - Kyrgyzstan holds the first round of parliamentary elections, in an atmosphere marked by the muzzling of independent news sources and protests.

March 13 - Results in second round of the parliamentary poll show the opposition won only a handful of seats. OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) says vote shows many shortcomings.

March 21 - Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second biggest city, falls to opposition control as protests sweep across the country’s south to demand the resignation of President Askar Akayev.

March 23 - Police violently break up a protest in the capital, Bishkek, and the interior minister says government prepared to use force and weapons to restore order.

March 24 - Kyrgyzstan’s opposition declares itself in power after seizing key buildings as Akayev vanishes following days of violent protests.

March 25 - Opposition party leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev is named acting president.

-- Akayev confirms reports he has left the country, but says he has not resigned and accuses the opposition of an “anti-constitutional coup.”

March 28 - Kyrgyzstan’s new parliament takes over and confirms Bakiyev as prime minister as well as acting president.

July 10 - Kurmanbek Bakiyev wins presidential elections with 88.9 percent of votes cast.

Nov. 8, 2006 - Parliament adopts a new constitution reducing the president’s powers, defusing a political crisis. The opposition, which had staged days of protests calling on the president to quit if he would not cede to their demands, hailed the vote as a victory.

Feb. 19, 2009 - Parliament votes to close the only U.S. air base in Central Asia. Washington later agrees to pay $180 million to Kyrgyzstan to keep the base open.

March 17, 2010 - Thousands of Kyrgyz protesters threaten to oust Bakiyev if he fails to accede to their demands within a week, five years after violent protests propelled him to power.

April 3 - Visiting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on Kyrgyzstan to protect human rights after protesters shout “help us” as he drove to parliament.

April 6 - Police firing teargas and rubber bullets briefly take back a building in the northwestern town of Talas, freeing the regional governor who had been taken hostage, but 3,000 protesters return to retake the building after nightfall.

April 7 - Bakiyev orders a state of emergency in Bishkek and three other areas after police clash with protesters.

-- Kyrgyz troops open fire on anti-government protesters killing dozens of people.

-- Some 1,000 people storm the prosecutor-general’s office in the capital.

-- Opposition activists also take control of state television channel KTR.

-- Protesters seize government buildings in three other towns.