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Saturday, 14 December 2019

Egypt's parliament votes in favour of extending state of emergency for three months

The extension was approved by the majority of MPs (450 MPs)

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 4 Nov 2019
Egy parl
A file photo of Egypt's Parliament (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives –approved on Monday a presidential decree (no.555) extending the nationwide state of emergency for a further three months, beginning on 1am, 27 October.

The approval came one day after Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli delivered a statement before parliament, warning that “dark forces still insist on targeting the stability of Egypt, and they seek to exploit the current chaos and turmoil in the Arab world and Middle East region to stir up troubles in the country, and so the police and Armed Forces should be ready at all times to stand up to these forces.”

Parliament’s general committee held a meeting on Monday morning and prepared a report that recommended the approval of the new three-month extension of the state of emergency in Egypt.

The report said the declaration of the state of emergency is a necessary measure in light of the current regional and internal circumstances.

“It also represents a continuation of the state’s efforts to uproot terrorism,” said the report, noting that “the government of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly vowed that exceptional measures will be used only to safeguard national security against dangers and in a way that strikes a balance with public freedoms.”

When put up for a vote, the parliament speaker asked MPs who approve the new extension to stand up.

“The tally shows that the majority of MPs – 450 MPs – approved the extension, three MPs reject it and one MP decided to abstain,” said Abdel-Aal.

The presidential decree – issued by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on 26 October – includes five articles, the first of which states that the state of emergency in Egypt will be extended for three months.

Article 2 stipulates that the police and Armed Forces shall take all the necessary measures to stand up to the dangers of terrorism and its sponsors, maintain security throughout the country, safeguard public and private property, and preserve the lives of citizens. 

Article 3 states that the prime minister will be granted the president’s powers in this respect, as stipulated by the emergency law (no.162 of 1958).

Article 4 states that violators of the decree and its orders will be subject to prison sentences. Article 5 indicates that the decree will be published in the official gazette.

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