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Some protesters gathered outside parliament earlier Tuesday, and a number of lawmakers tried to enter the building but were turned away by security forces. Hundreds of black-clad policemen armed with clubs and shields ringed the building, standing behind metal barricades.

“Military rule again, no way! We’re the power, we’re the people,” protesters chanted. They addressed Tantawi, Mubarak’s defense minister for 20 years, shouting, “You coward Field Marshal, free the parliament.”

The military’s assertion of authority came under international criticism, from Amnesty International and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who has met repeatedly with the generals in visits to Egypt.

Carter said in a statement that he was “deeply troubled by the undemocratic turn that Egypt’s transition has taken.” His Carter Center monitored the weekend runoff as it has every nationwide vote in Egypt since Mubarak’s ouster in a popular uprising engineered by pro-democracy youth groups.

He pointed to the dissolution of parliament and the elements of martial law and said the constitutional declaration “violated the military’s commitment to make a full transfer of power to an elected civilian government.

“An unelected military body should not interfere in the constitution drafting process,” said Carter.

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Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee, Wis., contributed to this report.