WILMINGTON, Del. — Shareholders of Washington Mutual Inc. Wednesday got the green light to push ahead with their effort to replace the board of directors that agreed to a bankruptcy court deal that leaves shareholders with nothing.

Judge Mary F. Walrath granted the shareholders permission to ask a court in Washington State to force Washington Mutual to convene an annual meeting, where shareholders will have an opportunity to vote out directors they blame for the bank holding company's loss of its prized thrift to a regulatory seizure.

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