Egypt's electoral commission banned 10 presidential candidates from running in the May elections on Saturday, sparking fears of a backlash by supporters of the hardline hopefuls.
Among those banned are former dictator Hosni Mubarak's spy chief Omar Suleiman, Muslim Brotherhood chief strategist Khairat el-Shater and hard-line Islamist Hazem Abu Ismail.
The head of Egypt's Supreme Presidential Election Commission, Farouk Sultan, did not give reasons for the bans, according to the Associated Press.
However, Ayman Nour, a liberal presidential candidate, said the Commission told him he was disqualified because of his imprisonment as a dissident under Mubarak's regime and because his name was not listed among registered voters, according to the AP. Nour said he would appeal, saying the decision was politicized as the whole race is deeply politicized.
We will not give up our right to enter the presidential race, Murad Muhammed Ali, a campaign manager for the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat al-Shater, said according to Reuters.
There is an attempt by the old Mubarak regime to hijack the last stage of this transitional period and reproduce the old system of governance.
Those disqualified now have 48 hours to appeal the decision, with a final slate of candidates to be announced on April 26.
The first round of the election itself is scheduled for May 23-24.