Algeria's Constitutional Council said Sunday that two candidates have registered for the country's disputed July 4 presidential election, hours after public radio reported that a deadline had passed without any candidacy.
The poll is strongly opposed by protesters who reject any vote held under authorities they say are tarnished by corruption from the rule of ousted leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
But Algeria's rulers have been determined to hold the ballot on July 4, seeing it as the only way out of a crisis that forced Bouteflika to quit in April after weeks of protests.
The deadline for registration passed at midnight on Saturday.
The Constitutional Council said in a statement that it had received the files of two candidates, Abdelhakim Hamadi and Hamid Touahri, both unknown figures. No major party has nominated a candidate.
The two appear unlikely to collect the signatures of 60,000 voters needed to validate a candidacy in Algerian elections.
Public radio said earlier that no candidates had registered on time.
A retired general and former activist of the president's National Liberation Front (FLN), Banzahia Lakhdar, had withdrawn at the last moment, public radio said.
Another obstacle to a July 4 election is that some mayors and magistrates have said they would not take part in organising the polls.
Amid the confusion over the candidacies, El Watan newspaper said on its website it was now "highly likely" that the election would be postponed.
Algeria has been rocked by months of protests since the ailing Bouteflika announced in February that he would run for a fifth term.
He quit office but protesters have kept up mass demonstrations calling for an overhaul of the "system" and departure of key Bouteflika-era figures.
On Sunday, Algeria's prosecutor general's office said graft allegations against 12 former government officials, including two ex-premiers and eight ministers, were being referred to the supreme court.