Egyptian authorities had blacklisted a series of would-be candidates because of criminal backgrounds and ties to the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, ousted during last year's revolution.
Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq won the right to compete in next month's election following his appeal to the Supreme Presidential Elections Committee, Egyptian news service al-Ahram reports.
Shafiq was named prime minister Jan. 29, 2011, but resigned roughly 30 days later in the aftermath of the revolution.
The other contenders are;
-- Independent Islamist Abdeul Moneim Abul Fotouh
-- Former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa
-- Freedom and Justice Party leader Mohamed Morsi
-- Dignity Party Chairman Hamdeen Sabahi
-- Socialist Abul Ezz el-Hariri
-- Revolutionary Socialiast Khaled Ali
-- Islamic scholar Mohamed Selim el-Awa
-- Former intelligence officer Hossam Khairallah
-- Former police officer Mohamed Fawzy
-- Former Foreign Minister official Abdullah el-Ashaal
-- Reformist judge Hisham el-Bastawisi
-- Egypt Kanana Party official Mahmoud Hossam
Moussa, the FJP candidate, Shafiq and Sabahi are said to be among the leading contenders.
The Muslim Brotherhood, organized politically under the Freedom and Justice Party, said it would have demonstrations every Friday until the military-led government hands power over to a civilian administration.
Campaign season official begins Sunday. Elections take place over two days beginning May 23.