Hosni Mubarak's former intelligence chief said his bid for the presidency does not have the support of Egypt's military rulers and accused Islamists of sending him death threats.

Omar Suleiman, 74, announced his candidacy on Friday and collected around 72,000 signatures of eligible voters in one day, more than twice the 30,000 required.

"The supreme council has no relation, neither negatively nor positively, with my decision to join the race for the presidency," Mr Suleiman said.

"As soon as my nomination for the presidency was announced, I received on my personal mobile and through some people close to me death threats and messages saying 'we will take revenge' from members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups."

Mr Suleiman, made vice-president by Mubarak in the last days of his three-decade rule, symbolises that era's tough security regime and poses a threat to Islamists, who were routinely harassed and arrested during Mubarak's era, and to liberals, who spearheaded Mubarak's ouster. But his candidacy might appeal to some Egyptians hoping for an end to political instability.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement now in control of a Parliament majority, has meanwhile broken a pledge not to field a candidate and nominated its deputy leader, Khairat al Shater, for head of state.

If he were to win, Mr Suleiman said he would not interfere in the trials of any of the members of the former regime. Mubarak and some of his top officials are on trial for charges related to the death of over 800 protesters in the uprising and for corruption.