CNN - POSTED: 11:59 p.m. EDT, March 15, 2007
HAVANA, Cuba (AP) -- Fidel Castro will be in "perfect shape" to run for re-election to parliament next spring, the first step toward securing yet another term as Cuba's president, National Assembly head Ricardo Alarcon said Thursday.
A lengthy process of nominating candidates for municipal elections will begin this summer, leading to several rounds of voting. Then, by March 2008, Cuba should be ready to hold parliamentary elections that are expected to include Castro, Alarcon said.
"Fidel has been and is very involved, very connected, very active in all manner of important decisions that this country makes," Alarcon said. "What's happening is, he can't do it the same way he did before because he has to dedicate a good part of his time to recuperating physically."
Switching later to deliberate but fluent English, Alarcon told journalists: "To what extent he will go back to doing things the way he did, the way he is accustomed to, it's up to him."
Things in Cuba have remained calm and functioned normally under Raul Castro. Though Fidel has not appeared in public, he has sounded lucid and up on current events in a pair of recent telephone conversations with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
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