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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2007, 18:14 GMT
Castro nominated for Cuban seat
Fidel Castro
There had been speculation that Fidel Castro might step down
Cuban President Fidel Castro has been nominated as a candidate for a seat in the next National Assembly - indicating he may still hope to return to power.

Mr Castro, 81, must be re-elected to the assembly if he is to remain president of the Council of State.

The president handed over power to his brother Raul 16 months ago due to ill health, and there had been some speculation that he might step down.

But his nomination leaves open the option of a return to power.

Mr Castro has not appeared in public since having intestinal surgery last year, though he has been photographed and televised during his recuperation.

Nationwide elections will be held on 20 January.

The newly-elected parliament will then choose the Council of State, which President Fidel Castro has headed since the early 1960s.

While Mr Castro's nomination opens the way for him to keep his position as president, it does not guarantee it.

He could still decide not to stand, perhaps leaving the way clear for his brother to be officially installed as president.

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