Jan 3 (Reuters) - Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili called a snap Jan. 5 election after ordering riot police to force opposition protesters off the streets in November.
Here is a chronology of events leading up to the vote.
Nov. 2, 2007 - Up to 70,000 people demanding early elections protest against Saakashvili in the biggest show of unrest since the peaceful revolution that swept him to power four years ago.
Nov. 4 - Saakashvili rejects opposition demands for early parliamentary elections and also denies accusations he had failed to reform the economy and tackle corruption.
Nov. 7 - Saakashvili declares a 15-day countrywide state of emergency after sending in riot police to battle protesters:
-- Armed police special forces storm the main opposition television station, Imedi, taking it off the air.
-- Saakashvili blames Russia for stirring up civil strife after clashes with protesters in Tbilisi calling for his resignation. Relations between Georgia and Russia were already at an all-time low. Saakashvili's desire to join NATO and his drive to regain sovereignty over two breakaway pro-Russian provinces angered Moscow, which in 2006 cut transport links.
Nov. 8 - Saakashvili pledges to put himself up for re-election in January. The election had been due in the second half of 2008.
Nov. 15 - Parliament confirms emergency laws will be lifted within 24 hours but the International Monetary Fund says the turmoil has damaged the country's reputation with investors.
Nov. 27 - German police arrest exiled opposition leader Irakly Okruashvili following a request from Georgian authorities.
-- Okruashvili had left Georgia under political pressure earlier in November after sparking the mass anti-government demonstrations by accusing Saakashvili of corruption, a charge the Georgian leader had rejected.
Jan. 5, 2008 - Presidential elections. (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)