Egypt's interim president announced that a presidential poll will be held before the parliamentary elections this year.
Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour made the announcement of an early presidential poll on Sunday.
The initial plan was to hold parliamentary elections first, but Mansour said they will reschedule the polls so that a president will be elected before the legislature. He made this announcement speaking on state television. The government said the elections will restore democratic rule in Egypt by the end of 2014.
The move is seen to favour army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, although he has not yet announced his candidacy.
The announcement comes a day after the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
49 people were killed in anti-government protests in Cairo on Saturday. Witnesses said they were attacked by supporters of the new political order and security forces.
On Sunday three Egyptian soldiers were killed when gunmen opened fire on their bus in the Sinai Peninsula.
Deep divisions remain in the country since the 2011 revolt that raised hopes of a stable democracy.