Egypt’s Parliament approved, during a plenary session on Monday, several amendments regarding the roles of the country’s armed and security forces.
During the session, the Parliament approved Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly’s decision to amend some provisions of Law No 55 of 1968 regarding public defence organisations.
The new amendments include the addition of two new articles, the first of which will require a military advisor be appointed to each governorate alongside a sufficient number of assistants. The conditions for occupying the positions will be decided upon by the Minister of Defence.
The title of “assistant military advisor” will be replaced to “military advisor to the director of education” and “director of military education” whenever it appears in law
The second article includes contributing to periodic field follow-ups on services provided to citizens. This will run alongside ongoing projects and permanent communication with citizens in the context of preserving national security.
The law determines the duties of these organisations in each governorate to include helping protect the background of the armed forces and implement procedures to protect vital state installations.
The law will additionally see the formation of the People’s Defence Council at the governorate level, and the establishing of its competencies.
Parliament further amended Law No 46 of 1973 regarding military education at the secondary and higher education levels. This will see the return of military education for male and female students including on training, military culture, medical service, and confronting crises and challenges.
Students will also be introduced to national projects and the role of the armed forces in safeguarding the constitution and democracy.
Parliament further approved a draft law submitted by the government to amend some provisions of Law No 19 of 2014, regarding the establishment of the National Security Council (NSC).
The amendment stipulates that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) meet with the NSC when the state faces imminent risk, to take the required urgent measures.
This comes in accordance with Article 200 of Egypt’s Constitution, where new tasks for the armed forces and two new articles to the National Security Council Law have been added.
According to the same article, the SCAF President will convene a meeting in the cases referred to, or at the request of half of the members of the joint composition.
The Vice President and Speaker of the Senate are invited to attend the joint meeting alongside whoever the current President of the Republic selects, who also has a counted vote.
According to Article 200, the deliberations of the two councils in the previous formation are confidential and its decisions are taken by a majority of votes.
On Sunday, Parliament’s defence and national security committee approved a draft law allowing former or currently-serving military personnel to participate in electoral politics with SCAF permission. The move comes following a draft law submitted by the government to amend some provisions of laws regarding the participation of military personnel in political life.