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Thousands of Candidates Register in Bangladesh

Bangladesh's Election Commission has begun examining the nomination papers of more than 4,000 candidates who registered for next month's parliamentary election.

Officials said Wednesday they had received a total of 4,146 applications by Tuesday's deadline. They are expected to release a final list of candidates for the 300 member parliament in about a week.

Later in the day, election officials rejected the application of former military ruler Hussain Mohammed Ershad, sparking protests in his northern home district of Rangpur.

Elections officials said Ershad is not eligible to run because of his legal troubles over corruption charges.

Angry supporters attacked local government offices Wednesday and smashed vehicles in Rangpur in protest. They also called for a day-long strike on Thursday in the five districts where Ershad is seeking to run.

The former military leader is head of the Jatiya Party. He faces jail time after a Supreme Court upheld a two year sentence for misuse of public funds while he was in office from 1982 to 1990.

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