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Egyptian parliament approves extension of state of emergency
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08:59, May 27, 2008

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The Egyptian People's Assembly (lower house of the parliament) on Monday approved a presidential decree to extend the state of emergency in the country, the official MEN Anews agency reported.

A total of 305 out of 408 members of the parliament who attended the session on Monday voted for the decree to extend the martial law for two more years as of June 1, said the report.

The 27-year-old state of emergency will "come to an end either with the expiry of the two years or the issuance of an anti-terror law," said MENA.

The vote came after a debate of the parliament earlier in the day following the issuance of the presidential decree to extend the state of emergency in the country on Monday.

Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazef made a speech in the morning session of the parliament on the decree following the decision by President Hosni Mubarak.

Nazef said the government promises the emergency law will only be used to confront terror and to protect the security of the nation and its citizens.

The emergency law has been in force in Egypt since 1981 after the assassination of then President Anwar Sadat.

According to earlier report, the government's scheduled plan to extend the emergency law has drawn disputes from the opposition and independent activists.

The emergency law allows the police to hold people without charge and enables the authorities to refer civilians to military courts, local daily The Egyptian Gazette said on Monday.


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