Egypt finally bids adieu to emergency law

Days after holding its first free and fair presidential election, Egypt today did away with a three decade old state of emergency, with the ruling military council stating that it would not be further extended.

The state of emergency in Egypt was imposed after former president Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 and the country has almost always been under such a law since then.

An extension was in place until midnight today and the ruling military council, that had first extended the law to
include strikes but then restricted its application to “thuggery”, said there would be no further extensions.

The military said it will continue its “national and historic responsibility, taking into account that the state of
emergency has ended, in accordance with the constitutional declaration and with the law,” it said.

In a statement, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) said it would rule until the end of the transitional
period and would continue to “protect” the country and its citizens.

“Out of the armed forces’ sense of national and historical responsibility, and in light of the state of emergency’s
expiration, the application of the provisions of the Constitutional Declaration and the law, and in response to
national, popular and political aspirations, the SCAF assures the Egyptian people that it will continue to bear the national responsibility of protecting the homeland and its citizens during this important stage of our nation’s history and until power is handed over,” read the statement.

The emergency law’s first article says that a state of emergency can be declared whenever there is a risk to security or public order anywhere in the country, whether from war, risk of war, internal disturbances, public disasters or pandemics.