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Misuari to fight Loong for Sulu governorship

Detained former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Nur Misuari is seeking the governorship of Sulu, media reports and Muslim leaders said yesterday.

Datu Norodin Lucman, former chairman of the Bangsa Moro Liberation Organization, said political leaders in Mindanao have informed him that Misuari will be running against incumbent Gov. Ben Loong, the acknowledged political kingpin in Sulu.

"Misuari will be running against a formidable enemy and without government support he will surely lose," Lucman told The STAR in a phone interview.

Misuari, who is under house arrest in New Manila, Quezon City on rebellion charges, was quoted in television reports as saying that he would seek the court’s permission to personally file his certificate of candidacy in Sulu.

Misuari, founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), was allowed to go to Sulu last Dec. 14 to register as a voter.

Muslim leaders, however, expressed concern that Misuari’s return to the Mindanao political scene is a government tactic to divert attention from the ongoing peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"The government wants to bring back Misuari in the spotlight to divert the real issue in Mindanao," Lucman said.

"While the government is talking peace with the MILF, it is also resurrecting dead issues to create a situation that will justify an all-out war policy," he added.

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