Mohammed Daoud Khan Seizes Power in a Bloodless Coup, Declares Himself President

On July 17, 1973, Mohammed Daoud Khan seized power from his cousin (and brother-in-law) King Zahir with the assistance of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (the Parcham party wing). Departing from tradition, and for the first time in Afghan history, Daoud did not proclaim himself Shah, establishing instead a republic with himself as President.

Afghanistan has only intermittently been a republic - between 1973-1992 and from 2001 onwards - at other times being governed by a variety of kings, emirs and (under the mujahideen and Taliban regimes in the 1990s) Islamist rulers.