George P. Lee was certified Thursday by the Navajo Election Board as a write-in candidate for the new office of tribal president.

Lee had been the vice presidential running mate of suspended Chairman Peter MacDonald, who was disqualified last month after he was convicted in a bribery and extortion trial.Lee petitioned for consideration after his ticket was scratched.

Lee's name will not be on the ballot, which includes former Chairman Peterson Zah, who won the tribal primary in September, and interim chairman Leonard Haskie, who ran third just behind MacDonald. But under Navajo law, even a write-in candidate must have election-board approval to run.

The board also hired an attorney to ask the tribe's Supreme Court whether the board or the Navajo Nation Council has the power to determine the date of the upcoming general election.

Lee called the board's action to allow him to run "a moral victory for the thousands of voters who have voted for Peter MacDonald in the primary" and said it was a victory for the dissatisfied electorate who did not vote in the primary.