Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei has announced he is pulling out of the presidential race, saying democracy is yet to take hold in the country.
ElBaradei said Saturday his conscience will not allow him to run for the presidency or any other official position unless it is within a democratic framework. He said he feels the previous regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak is still running the country.
ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former head of the U.N. nuclear agency, had been considered a frontrunner for the presidency.
That post has been vacant since Mubarak was deposed nearly a year ago.
The transitional military government that has since been running the country says a full house of parliament and new president will be elected by June.
Thousands of Egyptians have protested the military government in recent months, accusing it of trying to put off moves toward a civilian administration.
A number of demonstrators have been killed and scenes of Egyptian police beating and dragging women through the streets have enraged millions worldwide.
Earlier this week, Egypt held its third round of parliamentary elections, the country's first elections since a popular uprising toppled Mubarak. The elections are meant to select leaders to replace the military rulers.
Mubarak is on trial for corruption and the deaths of hundreds of anti-government protesters during the Egyptian uprising. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The former president faces the death penalty if convicted of murder.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.