Interim president Adly Mansour said Egypt will have an "elected" leader in two and a half months, in an interview published Friday by the state-owned Al-Ahram daily.
The presidential election is seen as a major milestone in a transitional roadmap outlined by the military-installed authorities for a return to democratic rule after the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.
Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has made no secret of his intention to stand in the election -- which is scheduled to be held sometime this spring -- but has yet to announce his candidacy officially.
Since he announced Morsi's ouster on July 3, Sisi has emerged as Egypt's most popular political figure and a nationalist icon, with supporters viewing him as a tough leader who can restore stability after three years of unrest following the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
"I am telling you with all confidence that two and a half months from now Egypt will have an elected president and I will hand him the decision-making power," Mansour told Al-Ahram.