Egypt's parliament to discuss laws on emergency extension, police authority and banking sector

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 2 May 2020

Egypt's prime minister will address parliament on Sunday on the president's decision to extend the state of emergency for three months

A file photo of Egypt
A file photo of Egypt's Parliament (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's House of Representatives will convene on Sunday to discuss a batch of political and economic laws.

The plenary session will see Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly's statement on President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's decree 168/2020, extending the state of emergency for three more months, beginning on 28 April, 1pm.

According to parliament's internal bylaws, Madbouly's statement shall be referred to the House's General Committee to prepare a report on the decree to be discussed and voted on in a plenary session.

Madbouly's statement should indicate the reasons and the necessities which led the president to extend the state of emergency.

The new extension should gain the approval of at least two-thirds of the MPs.

The extension comes just three days after 10 Egyptian military personnel were "killed or wounded" when an improvised explosive device was detonated in North Sinai's Beir Al-Abd on 30 April.

The army said on Friday that its units in North Sinai had killed two dangerous "takfiri elements" during a raid.

The House's legislative agenda also includes amendments to four articles of the Police Authority Law.

A report by the House's Defence and National Security Committee said the amendments aim to upgrade the performance of police officers and ensure that higher ranks, particularly colonels, brigadiers and major-generals are the best and most efficient elements selected to implement the Ministry of Interior's security plans and policies.

The amendments also allow half the members of the board of the Higher Police Council to meet to discuss security policies.

"Practical reasons have shown that it is difficult for all board members to meet at once, so the law will be amended to allow only half the board members to meet," said the report.

The House will also discuss a report prepared by the Budget and Planning Committee on the balance sheet of the state's 2019/20 budget.

On Monday, the House's agenda will include a discussion of a new 249-article law regulating the performance of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the banking sector.

According to an explanatory note, the law aims to reinforce the supervisory powers of the CBE.

"The draft law aims to raise the capital of the CBE to EGP 20 billion in order to be able to exercise its financial obligations," said the report, adding that "the law will give the CBE new powers and roles in the area of central depository, listing and registration of government financial securities, and in covering the seasonal deficit in state budge."

"The law will also increase the number of the non-executive members of the CBE's board. It shall stipulate that members of the board are independent, neutral, and have no conflict of interests," said the report, adding that "the law also tackles the CBE's roles in licensing foreign banks and representation offices."

The law stipulates that a bank should have a capital of EGP 5 billion and a branch should have a capital of $150 million.

"It also creates a new system for settling the conditions of default banks, with the objective of maintaining the stability of the banking sector and protecting the interests and money of depositors," said the report.

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