December 25, 2008 / 12:14 PM / 12 years ago

FACTBOX-Key facts about Bangladesh's election

(Reuters) - Bangladesh goes to the polls on December 29 after about two years of emergency rule. The elections are aimed at bringing the South Asian country of over 140 million people back to democracy.

Here are key facts about Bangladesh’s election:

* More than 81 million people are eligible to vote, about half of them young voters. Women voters outnumber men for the first time.

* Over 1,500 candidates, including about 50 women, are in the fray for 300 seats in parliament.

* The parties of former prime ministers Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia are the frontrunners. About half the candidates are independents.

* Each candidate can run for up to three seats.

* Some 2,000 foreign observers and around 200,000 local monitors will track the election process for fairness.

* Voting will begin at 8 a.m. (2 a.m. British time) and end at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. British time).

* Counting will start soon after voting ends and initial results expected are by December 30.

Compiled by Ruma Paul; Editing by Anis Ahmed and Sugita Katyal

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