Egyptian presidential hopeful Ahmed al-Tantawi gives an interview at his office in central Cairo on October 12, 2023. AFP
In a press conference in Cairo, Tantawi said he secured only around 14,000 endorsements over the past few days.
Potential candidates must secure endorsements from at least 20 MPs or 25,000 citizens from at least 15 governorates.
Tantawi cited difficulties his supporters faced while trying to register their support for his candidacy at public notaries nationwide — a complaint that the Egyptian National Elections Authority (NEA) previously denied.
The NEA has said that such claims were "nothing more than baseless and false allegations," according to a statement released in late September.
"We were able to gather more than the required endorsements," Tantawi stressed in Friday's conference.
Tantawi's campaign, sparking legal controversy, called on his supporters on 7 September to fill out unofficial endorsement forms to present them to the NEA if he failed to obtain the official ones.
However, he reversed the step hours after an Egyptian security source announced the arrest of eight people in four governorates while they were issuing "forged endorsements" out for a presidential hopeful.
Four potential candidates have already submitted their candidacy papers to the NEA.
These are Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt's incumbent president whose term ends in April; Farid Zahran, head of the opposition Social Democratic Party; Abdel-Sanad Yamama, head of Egypt's oldest liberal party, the Wafd; and Hazem Omar, head of the People's Republican Party.
Gameela Ismail, the chairwoman of the Al-Dostour (Constitution) Party, backtracked on running the presidential poll following her party's decision, she said in a statement on Wednesday.
The NEA will announce an initial list of candidates on 16 October after disqualifying incomplete candidacy submissions.
Voting in Egypt will take place from 10 to 12 December. Egyptians abroad will cast their votes on 1-3 December.
The final result will be announced on 18 December if no run-off is required.
The upcoming elections are the fourth presidential elections since the uprising of 25 January 2011.
The previous presidential elections were held in 2018.