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

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 27 Apr 2021

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly vowed that the extension is necessary to fight terrorism, contain the coronavirus pandemic, and implement development plans in a stable environment


Egypt’s parliament approved on Tuesday President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s decree (174/2021) extending the country’s state of emergency for three more months starting 1 pm 25 April.

The approval came one day after Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly delivered a statement in which he said the extension is necessary for security, public health, and development reasons.

Madbouly said the Middle East is living in a state of troubles and threats.

“And we also see that some are still planning to destabilise Egypt and target its people and its achievements, but we are not afraid of any threats facing our country because we know that we live in a country preserved by God and its soldiers,” said Madbouly.

Madobuly confirmed that Egypt’s Armed Forces and police are always ready to confront threats facing the country’s national security.

He also referred to the difficult conditions currently facing Egypt and the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“These conditions caused low growth rates, rampant unemployment, and instability, which is gripping many countries around us and leaving its negative impact on the region,” said Madbouly.

He said Egypt was able to pass through the above hard conditions and was even one of few countries which was able to achieve positive economic growth rate last year.

Madbouly concluded that due to the adverse international and regional conditions which Egypt is passing through at the moment, the cabinet decided to extend the state of emergency by three months, starting 1 pm on 25 April 2021, as prescribed by the presidential decree (174/2021), issued in this respect.

“And I vow that exceptional measures sanctioned by the emergency law will be used in a way that will be keen to strike a balance between the duty of protecting public freedoms and the necessity of preserving national security,” said Madbouly, indicating that the extension of the state of emergency also goes in line with Article 154 of the constitution.

“I pray to God that this will contribute to the efforts of the armed and police forces in fighting terrorism and completing the implementation of development plans across Egypt.”

Following Madbouly’s statement, the House’s General Committee met on Monday afternoon and declared its approval of the new three-month extension of the state of emergency.

Parliament Speaker Hanafy El-Gebaly said the extension was approved by two thirds of MPs.

The state of emergency, which has been in effect since 2017, has always 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 parliamentary deputies must approve imposing or extending a state of emergency within seven days of the decree’s date of issuance.

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.”

The state of emergency was declared for the first time in May 2017 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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