Almost from the beginning, the tug-of-war over Great Western Financial Corp.'s annual meeting has been a focal point in the duel between hostile bidder H.F. Ahmanson and Great Western.

Ahmanson has pushed to schedule the annual meeting well before a vote is taken on Great Western's agreement to sell to white knight Washington Mutual Inc. That could enable Ahmanson to elect three members to Great Western's board and leave time for the new members to make a case for Ahmanson's hostile offer.

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