Egypt's former chief of staff General Sami Anan announced on Thursday that he would not run in the country's upcoming presidential elections.
In a press conference held Thursday morning, Anan said that his decision comes after "much thought" and was taken for the "sake of the country's unity," adding that Egypt was currently facing a great deal of "conspiracies."
Anan stressed that he cared for the unity of the army as well, a possible reference to the logistical problem of the military fielding two presidential hopefuls.
Army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is widely expected to win the elections, should he declare his candidacy.
Anan's announcement comes after months of affirmations from his presidential campaign team that he would contest the elections.
However, his proposed candidacy was not received well by the media, which blamed Anan for "giving up" the country to the Muslim Brotherhood while serving as second-in-command on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) during its one-and-a-half year rule following the ouster of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Other reports claimed that his presidential campaign was being supported by the Brotherhood.
Anan had served as an "honorary consultant" to former president Mohamed Morsi but resigned shortly before his ouster in July, declaring that he supported the millions-strong protesters who took to the streets on 30 June demanding an end to Morsi's one-year rule.
Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour said on Wednesday that the presidential polls would end before 17 July, paving the way for parliamentary elections.
To date, the only candidate to officially declare his campaign is Nasserist figure Hamdeen Sabbahi, who also ran in the 2012 elections which brought Morsi to power.