No Emergency Law to be declared in Egypt, for now: PM

Ahram Online, Monday 29 Jul 2013

Government is not planning to take extraordinary measures unless necessary, says Egypt's interim PM Hazem El-Beblawi

PM Hazem El-Beblawi (Photo: AP)

Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said on Monday that the transfer of power from the president to him to declare emergency law does not mean that he will necessarily take such as a meassure.

On Sunday, Interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree  granting El-Beblawi certain presidential powers to use three articles of Emergency Law No.162.

"The transfer of the authority to declare a state of emergency from the president to the prime minister doesn't mean the [imminent] announcing of [state of emergency]," explained El-Beblawi during a press conference.

The decision included an article that gave El-Beblawi the right to grant arrest powers to the armed forces.

El-Beblawi asserted that the government is keen on applying existing laws and will not take any "extraordinary measures" unless necessary.

"Authorising me with some of the president's specialities is a normal act," said El-Beblawi.

Mansour's decision came in response to the "expectations of the people, added the 76-year-old prime minister, in reference to wide public support for the government's current crackdown on "terrorism" amid increasing clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The second article granted El-Beblawi the power to annul or lessen a verdict issued by the Emergency State Security Court (ESSC), unless the crime committed is murder or attempted murder.

The third article gave El-Beblawi the authority to assign an Appeal Court judge or a state prosecutor to assess state security cases.

The interim PM further pointed out that the authorisation does not mean that the president is giving up his powers.

In response to a question on the deteriorating economic situation in Egypt, El-Beblawi stressed that any economic decision made will be meaningless as long as people feel insecure.

"There is no solution to the economic problem unless the security problem is solved," added El-Beblawi.

El-Beblawi, a leading member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, is a liberal economist and a former minister of finance. He was appointed to head the post-Morsi interim cabinet on 9 July.

Meanwhile, Mohamed El-Muslimany, Egypt's presidential media advisor, asserted later on Monday that the government has no intention at the moment of enforcing the emergency law in Egypt.

Short link: