Egypt cabinet approves law allowing president to deploy army

AFP, Ahram Online, Monday 28 Jan 2013

Shura Council to vote Monday evening on draft law allowing military to deploy domestically, help police 'maintain security' on streets of Egypt

Egypt cabinet approves law allowing president to deploy army
Clashes in Qasr EL-Nil (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Egypt's cabinet on Monday approved a draft law allowing President Mohamed Morsi to deploy the armed forces on the streets of Egypt "to help police maintain security and protect vital state institutions."

The law, which has yet to be ratified by the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament), would remain in effect until after upcoming legislative elections and could be re-invoked when deemed necessary by the presidency, according to state news agency MENA.

The Shura Council's national security committee approved the law in an emergency session on Monday afternoon, and it will be voted upon at the council's plenary meeting on Monday evening.

If approved, the law would give the defence minister the authority to determine where the military deploys, the troops required, and specific missions to be undertaken, according to MENA.

The draft law comes one day after Morsi declared a month-long state of emergency in the Egyptian canal provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia following a wave of bloody clashes this weekend between anti-government protesters and security forces.  

In a televised address on Sunday night, the president also announced the imposition of night-time curfews in the three provinces, while calling on Egypt's opposition forces to enter into talks at the presidential palace with a view to resolving the crisis through dialogue.

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