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Bangladesh: Former Military Ruler Appeals Election Ban


A former military ruler barred from running in parliamentary elections in Bangladesh next month has appealed to the election commission to declare him a valid candidate.

A lawyer for Hussein Mohammed Ershad says he submitted a request Friday to reverse the commission's decision to reject Ershad's candidacy.

On Wednesday, electoral officials said he could not run because of his conviction on corruption charges and potential two-year prison term. Under Bangladesh's constitution, a person jailed for at least two years for a so-called "moral crime" is barred from seeking elected office.

Angry Ershad supporters rallied in northern Bangladesh Thursday to protest the decision in a day-long strike. Scores of people were injured in clashes with police and soldiers in several strongholds of Ershad's Jatiya Party.

The Supreme Court has ordered Ershad to surrender and serve his jail time. But the ex-dictator has said the case and the decision to ban his candidacy is a plot to keep him from running for office.

Ershad ruled Bangladesh from 1982 until he was ousted during a popular uprising in 1990.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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