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Sunday, 20 September 2020

Egypt's parliament approves extending state of emergency for additional three months

The state of emergency, which has been in effect since 2017, has been extended on the grounds of fighting terrorism, implementing development programs in a stable climate, and containing the coronavirus crisis

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 20 Jul 2020
Parliament
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Egypt’s parliament approved on Monday President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s decree extending the country’s state of emergency for three more months effective 27 July.

The state of emergency, which has been in effect since 2017, has been extended on the grounds of fighting terrorism, implementing development programs in a stable climate, and containing the coronavirus crisis.

According to the bylaws of the Egyptian House of Representatives, two-thirds of parliament must approve imposing or extending a state of emergency within seven days of the decree.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said that more than two-thirds of the majority approved the new extension.

Abdel-Aal said Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced in a letter to parliament on 13 July that the emergency law is an effective tool for containing the coronavirus outbreak that has swept the country since March.

“Not to mention that the emergency law is still a necessary tool in fighting the forces of darkness exploiting the turmoil in the Arab region and the Middle East to carry out despicable acts against innocent civilians as well as members of the Armed Forces and police, hoping to destabilise Egypt," he said.

According to the articles of the decree, “the Armed Forces and police shall take all the necessary measures to combat the dangers of terrorism and its financing sources in order to maintain security throughout the country, protect public and private property and save the lives of citizens.”

In April, parliament approved the president’s request to extend the state of emergency for three more months till 26 July.

The emergency law can only be implemented for three months, after which it has to be renewed by the president and should be approved by the parliament.

The state of emergency was declared for the first time in May 2017 by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi when two churches were bombed in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, killing 47 people.

According to Article 154 of the 2014 constitution, the state of emergency is to be announced after consulting with the cabinet. Then, the decision should be reviewed by parliament in no more than seven days after its approval by the cabinet.

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