Ten candidates from the Egyptian presidential poll, including former spy chief Omar Suleiman and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater, have been barred by election officials.
Ultra orthodox Salafi Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail has also been banned.
No reason was given by officials, who said the banned candidates had 48 hours to appeal. Thirteen candidates remain.
Elections are due to be held in May, more than a year after Hosni Mubarak was overthrown by popular protests.
Egypt is still governed by a military council, although parliamentary elections have taken place in the meantime. The Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) became the largest party in parliament.
The decision by Omar Suleiman to stand for the presidency sparked major protests in Cairo on Friday.
The news that he and nine other candidates were being excluded was announced by Farouk Sultan, the head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission. Officials said the 10 did not meet the conditions for candidacy, but no further explanation was given.