Municipal assemblies throughout Cuba met Sunday to nominate candidates for the January election for the National Assembly. That assembly then chooses the council of state, which in turn selects the island's president.
According to news reports in Cuba Sunday, Castro was nominated shortly before noon in Santiago de Cuba, the eastern city he has represented in the legislature since 1976. To cries of "Viva Fidel!" municipal council members unanimously approved his name on a slate of candidates for the Jan. 20 election, one news report said.
Had Castro been left off Sunday's list of candidates, it would automatically have been the first step in an official change of power in Cuba.
After 47 years at the nation's helm, Castro handed power to his brother Raul, the defense minister, on July 31, 2006. He cited intestinal bleeding and later acknowledged losing more than 40 pounds and enduring several surgeries.
Castro has not made any public appearances since, although he sometimes appears in videotaped interviews. His health has appeared to bounce back, although photos released by the government still show him in casual athletic attire at a hospital room.
He turned 81 in August.