Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Ali El-Selmi told Ahram Daily that the cabinet of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf is planning to repeal the 30-year-old emergency law soon.
El-Selmi said that the cabinet decided in a meeting on 25 July to begin formulating laws and mechanisms that would replace Egypt’s emergency law.
During the bulk of the past 60 years, former presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak have ruled the country with all sorts of military and emergency laws that have curtailed basic democratic freedoms.
Different Egyptian governments have arbitrarily imprisoned hundreds of thousands of labour, political and religious opposition activists without due process for decades.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has ruled Egypt since the ouster of Mubarak, has repeatedly said that it would not invoke emergency law in its attempt to manage the current transition stage in the country.
Most political parties that intend to compete in the upcoming November parliamentary elections have insisted that fair elections require putting an ending to emergency law which stifles political participation by ordinary people.