Mohamed ElBaradei announced he was withdrawing from Egypt's presidential race because the military had not created the democratic conditions necessary for a fair election, the Associated Press reported.
The Nobel laureate and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is seen as a driving force behind the mass protest movement that forced former President Hosni Mubarak from office in February.
ElBaradei has long been critical of the military that has since ruled Egypt and questioned whether they would hand over power, as expected, in June.
In a statement, ElBaradei said the military have governed "as if no revolution took place and no regime has fallen," Reuters reported.
“My conscience does not permit me to run for the presidency or any other official position unless it is within a real democratic system,” said ElBaradei.
A favorite of Egyptian liberals and initially seen as a Presidential forerunner, experts have recently questioned whether he could win the election.
"ElBaradei acknowledges he may not have the grassroots support to win in this presidential election," said political analyst and activist Hassan Nafaa. "He also realizes that the next president will not have full powers and will be bound by the current system," he added.
ElBaradei's announcement follows former US President Jimmy Carter's findings this week that Egypt's military was unlikely to hand over power by the middle of the year.
More from GlobalPost: Carter still skeptical of Egypt military handover