CAIRO - Egypt's ruling military council criticized the two presidential candidates for making premature claims of victory on Friday and said it would stand by a decree curbing the new president's powers, which many see as prolonging military rule.

In a statement broadcast on state television, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) said it was "not justified" for candidates - an Islamist and a former general contesting the run-off - to claim they were sure of results giving them victory. It said such claims were sowing division and confusion.

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