Nobel Peace Prize Mohamed ElBaradei is pulling out of the race for the presidency of Egypt.
Mr ElBaradei, the former head of the United Nations nuclear agency, says democracy is in short supply in Egypt.
He criticised the military council, saying it governed Egypt as if no revolution had taken place.
A military council has run Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.
The election is scheduled to take place in June 2012.
In a statement, Mr ElBaradei praised the young people who led the uprising against Mr Mubarak, who was toppled in February 2011 after 18 days of street protests.
''My conscience does not permit me to run for the presidency or any other official position unless it is within a democratic framework,'' he said.
However, the BBC reports Mr ElBaradei's critics will say he never stood much chance of becoming president anyway.
A correspondent says feelings about Mr ElBaradei are very mixed, even on the liberal wing of Egyptian politics.
He has now been eclipsed by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour party.
The third round of voting in parliamentary elections has just concluded. The lower house of parliament will elect a 100-member assembly which will then draft a new constitution.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour took the lion's share of the vote in the first two rounds of elections and will dominate the new parliament.