Egypt parliament extends emergency law for two years

Egypt`s parliament voted on Tuesday to extend a decades-old state of emergency for a further two years, the official MENA news agency reported.

Updated: May 12, 2010, 00:47 AM IST

Cairo: Egypt`s parliament voted on Tuesday to
extend a decades-old state of emergency for a further two
years, the official MENA news agency reported.

"The People`s Assembly has approved by a 308-member
majority the presidential decree to extend the state of
emergency for a period of two years," MENA said.
A parliamentary source told AFP that 103 MPs had voted
against the extension of the controversial emergency law,
which MENA said is due to take effect on June 1 and run until
May 31, 2012.

The People`s Assembly has 454 members. It was not
immediately clear whether the remaining 43 lawmakers had not
attended the session or abstained from voting.

Egypt`s emergency law, in place since 1981, gives police
extended powers of arrest, suspends constitutional rights and
curbs non-governmental political activity. Special courts set
up under the law deny a right of appeal.
It has repeatedly come under harsh criticism from rights
groups and regime opponents.

Earlier, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif had asked parliament
to extend the law, but sought to reassure critics by pledging
only to apply it to cases of terrorism and narcotics.

PTI