In a surprise move, Egypt's election commission reinstated deposed leader Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister in the presidential race on Wednesday, according to a report in The Associated Press.
The commission reinstated Ahmed Shafiq just one day after disqualifying him.
Shafiq was disqualified after the Islamist-dominated parliament passed a law barring former senior officials from the Mubarak regime from running for office.
On Wednesday, however, the commission referred the law to the constitutional court, and the commission reinstated Shafiq.
AP noted that Shafiq is popular among supporters of Mubarak and Egyptians who fear the domination of Islamists. He will compete for voters supporting another secular candidate, front-runner Amr Moussa, a former Arab League chief.
The commission has already nixed 10 other candidates on technical grounds, including three of the front-runners. Among those disqualified were Mubarak’s former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, ultraconservative Islamist Hazem Abu Ismail and Muslim Brotherhood chief strategist Khairat el-Shater.
The Brotherhood, which clinched the majority in recent parliamentary elections, has announced a backup candidate, Mohammed Morsi. The first round of voting is set for May 23-24.