Egypt’s PM: State of Emergency declared to face COVID-19, terrorism

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Sun, 03 May 2020 - 03:23 GMT

FILE - Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli during his speech at the House of Representatives on Tuesday October 8.

FILE - Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli during his speech at the House of Representatives on Tuesday October 8.

CAIRO - 3 May 2020: In light of the repercussions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and terrorism that destabilizes the state, Egypt’s Cabinet approved the state of emergency for three months as of April 28, 2020, announced Prime Minister Mustafa Mabdouli on Sunday.

During a hearing session at the Parliament on the extension of the state of emergency nationwide on Sunday, Madbouli called on the members of the House of Representatives to approve the declaration of a state of emergency as regulated by law in accordance with Article 154 of the Constitution.

“All of you are aware of the magnitude of the threats and turmoil that still afflict the Arab region, the Middle East, and the entire world. Amid these [circumstances], we are faced by those who plan to destabilize the state. But, we do not fear any threat or maliciousness to our homeland,” Madbouli said.

The prime minister offered his sincere condolences for the loss of the military personnel, who were killed in a terrorist attack on North Sinai's Bi'r al-Abd city on Thursday, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

“We have been affected by the repercussions of this pandemic and we put our precautionary plans before other countries… we hope that all citizens adhere to the procedures set by the Ministry of Health, in order to preserve their lives and the lives of their families and maintain the safety of all the people of the homeland,” the prime minister stated.

On April 28, 2020, the prime minister issued a decree providing that the crimes of unlicensed mass gatherings, transportation hindering, thuggery, arms trafficking, and black market trade of staples are referred by the Public Prosecution to State Security Emergency Courts instead of criminal courts.

The prime minister issues such a decree every three months along with the renewal of the emergency law enforcement by the president. The State Security Emergency Courts are specialized in felonies and crimes that threaten national security and may cause the country to fall into chaos.

Ten days earlier, the Legislative Committee of the Egyptian House of Representatives approved new amendments to the Emergency Law 162 of 1958, giving the president more powers to face the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The new amendments give the president the power to take the necessary measures concerning the health emergency that Egypt declared since mid-March to fight the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

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