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Grant Devine, the former Saskatchewan premier best remembered for presiding over a scandal that has left his party decimated to this day, announced Tuesday he wants back into politics.

Mr. Devine said he will seek a seat in the Souris-Moose Mountain riding for the new merged Conservative Party. The next federal election is widely believed to be coming this spring.

He said he's running because the people of his riding, which includes his home in Estevan, want him to.

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"To get energized by people and then go drive it home ... that's still there," Mr. Devine. "The fire's still there."

Mr. Devine said his main priority is to provide a viable alternative to Prime Minister Paul Martin and the federal Liberals but critics say his biggest hurdle remains his track record.

Saskatchewan's NDP deputy premier Clay Serby said that he doesn't think Mr. Devine will even win the nomination given the government's record of scandal.

"I'll be surprised if Saskatchewan people pick him," Mr. Serby said. "I will be surprised if from the riding from which he runs he's nominated given the kind of record that he has had in the management ... of Saskatchewan's government."

Roy Bailey, the Canadian Alliance MP who represents the riding, is not seeking re-election.

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