State of emergency will not be used in restraining general freedoms: PM

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail justified on Sunday, the government’s decision of agreeing on the presidential declaration of the state of emergency over the country for three months.

During his speech before the parliament, Ismail vowed to the members of the parliament that the “government will use the extraordinary measures only in the level of defeating terrorism, and will not use it to limit the freedom or rights of citizens.”

On Thursday, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has declared the state of emergency for three months over the country  from 13 October “due to the serious security situation.”

Ismail added that the declaration of state of emergency is necessary at this time, “like any democratic nation” to keep its national security and stability amid confronting terrorism which hinders its developmental and civilized march.

“Egypt will not forget its heroes,” Ismail said talking about the 16 Egyptian policemen whom were killed in a shoot-out in the Wahat desert 130 km south to Cairo, during an operation to attack a camp of terrorists on Friday, according to ministry of interior.

The prime minister believes that the “ugly face” of terrorism appears simultaneously with every achievement in the country, which means that it [terrorism] targets hindering the process of comprehensive development.

“The state of emergency is indispensable at this time,” the speaker of the parliament Ali Abdel Aal said during the general session. He justified declaring the state emergency because of “Egypt’s war against terrorism,” state-media reported Sunday.

Abdel Aal criticised claims that the extension of the state of emergency was unconstitutional, according to state-owned media Al-Ahram.

According to Article 154 of the Constitution, the president of the republic has the right to declare the state of emergency after consultation with the cabinet and approval of the parliament.

“The state of emergency shall be declared for a specified period not exceeding three months, which may only be extended for another similar period after obtaining the approval of two-thirds of the parliament members,” the article stipulates. The parliament must clarify its stance of approval or rejection within seven days of the declaration of a state of emergency, in accordance with the Constitution action, according to the article.

The state of emergency was first declared by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in April following two deadly bombings targeted Coptic churches during celebrations of Palm Sunday, killing at least 45 in Tanta and Alexandria. Also, 26 were killed in an attack targeted Christians on their way to a monastery in Minya, in May. The Islamic State group (IS) claimed responsibility for these attacks.

In 22 June, the Egyptian Cabinet announced approval of the presidential order to extending the state of emergency for additional three months, the order which needed to be approved by the parliament.

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