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Amr Nabil, Associated Press
Hundreds of Egyptian supporters of Muslim Brotherhood presidential hopeful Khairat el-Shater surround his car outside the Higher Presidential Elections Commission, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, April 5, 2012. The presidential election scheduled in May will mark the beginning of a handover of power by the ruling military to an elected civilian, following last year's popular uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak. The banner in Arabic, background, reads, "Freedom and Justice party."

CAIRO — Egypt's most powerful political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, says it is nominating the head of its party as a back-up candidate for president in the face of attempts to disqualify their primary nominee.

In a statement released late Saturday by the Brotherhood, the group said they are putting forth party leader Mohammed Morsi as an alternate to Khairat el-Shater, the party's chief strategist and financier.

El-Shater was released from prison last month after serving five years on charges relating to his membership in the then-outlawed Brotherhood under the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The Brotherhood statement says el-Shater faces no legal obstacles to running for president, but they will file an application for Morsi as a second option due to "attempts by some to create barriers" for certain candidates.