A former Birmingham Labour councillor who found himself at the centre of vote-rigging claims is planning a political comeback.
Muhammad Afzal, who was convicted and then cleared of postal vote fraud, has been selected as his party's candidate for the Aston ward at next year's city council elections.
Mr Afzal was one of six Labour councillors accused of masterminding widespread corruption at the 2004 elections.
A High Court judge said the fraud, where ballot papers were systematically forged in favour of Labour, would have disgraced a banana republic.
An election court banned all six from standing as candidates again and ordered by-elections to be held in Aston and Bordesley Green.
Mr Afzal appealed against his conviction, insisting that he was not present at a warehouse in Witton when police found Labour activists surrounded by hundreds of completed postal ballots.
The Court of Appeal cleared Mr Afzal of taking part in corrupt practices.
He was, however, banned from standing as a candidate at the Aston by-election because of general corruption in Birmingham, in which he played no part.
Labour members in Aston selected Mr Afzal for the 2007 election from a shortlist of one.
A former cabinet member for human resources and equalities, Mr Afzal has 20 years' experience as a councillor.
The selection was welcomed by Sir Albert Bore, the leader of the council Labour group. Sir Albert (Lab Ladywood) said: "There is no reason at all why Mr Afzal should not be a candidate. He has many years of experience, both in terms of length of membership of the council and in the senior positions he has held. He will make a very good candidate."
Sir Albert said the Aston ward party could have considered anyone on Labour's municipal panel of potential candidates, but decided to place Mr Afzal on a shortlist of one. He added: "Labour won Aston convincingly in 2006 and I see no reason why we should not repeat that next year."
Aston Liberal Democrat councillor Ayoub Khan claimed the selection would backfire on Labour.