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GUATEMALA CITY — Blocked from the presidential ballot for 13 years, former military strongman Efrain Rios Montt finally was able to register as a candidate on Thursday.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal accepted the retired brigadier general's registration, obeying a decision by the nation's top court that he could seek office despite a clause in the country's 1985 constitution that bars those who have seized power in the past from seeking the presidency.

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"This is not a victory for the (party) or for the general but for the country," Rios Montt, 77, told reporters after receiving his credential as a candidate for the November election.

Rios Montt headed a 1982 coup that overthrew the military government of Gen. Romeo Lucas Garcia. His own government was overthrown 18 months later.

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