An Egyptian army general lectures anti-government demonstrators while touring Tahrir Square on February 5, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.
Credit: John Moore

CAIRO, Egypt -- Egypt's Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) has issued new amendments to the country's constitutional declaration, a move that gives the ruling generals considerably more power and limits the powers afforded the nation's newly-elected leader on the eve of the final presidential vote. 

The March 30, 2011, constitutional declaration has served as a kind of interim constitution following the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak by popular protest in February.

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The amendments, available in Arabic here and in English here, give SCAF full legislative power after a Supreme Court ruling on Thursday dissolved parliament over voting violations.  

The amendments further state that SCAF will retain full control of the military.

Egypt's new president, meanwhile, will not be able to declare war without SCAF's approval. It was not immediately clear what other powers, if any, the new president will hold. The final runoff vote for president was held over June 16-17, with the winner set to be announced on Thursday. 

The document also said SCAF will appoint a new panel to draft a constitution if a sufficient assembly is not formed within a week. The proposed constitution will then face a popular referendum within a stated timeline, after which parliamentary elections are to be held.

However, even after the public weighs in on the constitution, the president, SCAF, prime minister or judiciary can ask for revisions if they "find that the new constitution contains an article or more which conflict with the revolution's goals and its main principles or which conflict with any principal agreed upon in all of Egypt's former constitutions," according to a translation of the amendment provided by Ahram Online

The move is likely to add to widespread concern that SCAF is trying to cling to power after taking control following Mubarak's overthrow. 

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