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The final list of the candidates will be announced on February 24, he added, noting that the deadline for any candidate to retreat will be on March 1.

The results from the first round will be announced on April 2. "Thus I have decided not to run in the upcoming 2018 presidential elections", Shafik declared.

The independent NEC, established by a presidential decree in August 2017, is a 10-member commission and has sole responsibility for supervising general elections and referendums in Egypt.

"Following my monitoring to what is realistically happening, I've realized that I am not the right person to administrate the state in the upcoming period".

Election voting by Egyptian expats is set to begin on16, 17 and 18 March, with an electoral silence due on 14 and 15 March.

El-Sissi, in office since 2014, has yet to officially declare his candidacy but he is virtually certain to run and win the vote.

Incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to stand for re-election and win in the first round.

This will be Egypt's third election since the 2011 Arab Spring riots that overthrew the long rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

However, Ali could be disqualified as he has received a suspended three-month jail term in September over an obscene hand gesture he reportedly made after winning a court order challenging the government.

However, he announced on Sunday his final decision not to run for the presidential elections.