CAIRO — The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's top political force, announced it was putting up a second presidential candidate for May elections in case its first choice was not allowed to stand.

The candidature of the Islamist group's number two, Khairat al-Shater, looked to be in doubt. Shater was freed from prison in March 2011 after having been jailed by a military court for seven years on charges of terrorism and money laundering.

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice Party won the most seats in parliamentary elections earlier this year, said it was putting forward party chairman Mohammed Morsi as an "alternative candidate."

Separately, earlier Saturday, the electoral commission said that Salafist politician Hazem Abu Ismail would probably be disqualified from running because his late mother was a US citizen.

In response to what it called a "massacre" of Islamist candidates, the ultra-conservative Gamaa Islamiya announced that it was nominating hardliner Safwat Hegazy to stand, the official news agency MENA reported.

The first round of the election is due to take place on May 23 and 24.