An election next month would also rule out opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim, barred by a conviction from standing for office until April.
The election commission is expected to meet soon to set a poll date.
A recent opinion poll also suggested that Mr Badawi's personal popularity had tumbled by 30%.
However, the National Front coalition government led by the Malay party UMNO are virtually assured of another a healthy victory.
They have won all previous 11 general elections.