Sisi Egypt President
Presidential candidate and Egypt's former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi talks during a television interview broadcast in Cairo   Reuters

Egyptian presidential candidate Abel Fatah al-Sisi has promised to improve living conditions for the people of Egypt within two years if he wins the upcoming election, while pledging to step down if they rise against his rule.

"Do you think I will wait for a third time? If people go down to protest, I will say, I am at your service," said Sisi in his first interview with foreign media since resigning as Egypt's military chief in March.

"I can't wait until the army asks me to (step down), I can't be like this. I fear for my country. I fear for the people," he continued.

Sisi, 59, is to face a single opponent in the race for the presidency on 26-27 May and is expected by many to win at a canter.

Sisi was head of military intelligence when Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office in 2011 and defence minister during Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamad Morsi's short-lived rule.

Yet, he used the interview to criticise the Morsi regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that the group had based crucial issues around religion and not politics.

"It is their problem, not mine. They need to re-evaluate themselves.

"It is not an animosity, it is not revenge between me and them," he added.

The Muslim Brotherhood was recently designated a terrorist organisation by the interim Egyptian government following the army's overthrow of Morsi in July last year and 683 members have been sentenced to death in the biggest mass capital punishment in history.

An Egyptian court has also banned current and former members of the Islamic group from running in the presidential and legislative elections due to the party's status as a terrorist organisation.

Sisi refused to comment on the death sentences handed to Muslim Broterhood supporters but rather focused on what he aimed to achieve for ordinary Egyptians, promising to tackle the country's key security and economic problems such as increasing poverty and rising debts.

"We say if things go according to our planning, they will see improvements within two years," he promised.

"On my own, I can't solve all of Egypt's problems," he concluded.