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State of Emergency will not be extended: Shawky

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Extension would require a public referendum; end date is 14 November

 Egyptian troops check IDs at a checkpoint during the curfew hours in Cairo late on August 19, 2013.  (AFP File Photo)

Egyptian troops check IDs at a checkpoint during the curfew hours in Cairo late on August 19, 2013.
(AFP File Photo)

The government has no intention to extend the State of Emergency past November, according to a Tuesday press release by the prime minister’s media adviser, Sherif Shawky.

The State of Emergency was applied on 14 August amid the dispersal of sit-ins supporting former president Mohamed Morsi in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares, and is scheduled to end once its three-month duration elapses on 14 November.

Shawky affirmed that the constitutional declaration issued by interim president Adly Mansour states that extending the State of Emergency beyond the three-month-period would require a public referendum.

Article 27 in the declaration gives Mansour the right to impose the State of Emergency for three months, and the right to extend it for a similar period should such a referendum pass.

Mansour imposed the State of Emergency on 14 August for a one-month-period and extended it for a further two months on 12 September.

Constitutional expert Raafat Fouda said that the end of the State of Emergency does not necessarily mean the return of the armed forces to its barracks, as the president has the right to order the armed forces to assist the police even under normal circumstances. However, Fouda added that the imposed 12am weekday and 7pm Friday curfew will be lifted, “as it is a consequence of state of emergency.”

The State of Emergency was originally imposed in Egypt after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War; however it was lifted in 1980 under former President Anwar Al-Sadat. It was later re-imposed after his assassination on 6 October 1981.

Under former president Hosni Mubarak, the state of emergency was renewed every three years by different parliaments, most recently on 21 May 2010 when the parliament agreed to a two year extension.

The end of the state of emergency was one of the main demands of 25 January 2011 Revolution.

Post-25 January, Hussein Tantawy’s SCAF lifted the state of emergency on 31 May 2012, one month before transmitting authority to newly elected Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi himself declared the State of Emergency on 28 January 2013 in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez amid unrest in these governorates.

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