Decision to close shops early postponed

The application of the government’s decision to close shops at 10 pm has been postponed indefinitely, Local Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen said Wednesday.

Abdeen’s statements are the most recent of a series of statements by Egyptian officials over the application of the controversial decision.

Earlier today, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohamed Mahsoub said that the decision will be applied starting from Saturday. Abdeen himself had said Tuesday that the mandatory closing time would go into effect Thursday.

In a phone-in with privately-owned Al-Hayat satellite channel Wednesday evening, Abdeen said that the delay was to study what penalties would be imposed on those who do not follow the order.

He added that the decision came during hard times and that the government has to save power to guarantee fair distribution of electricity to remote areas.

Abdeen said that the Interior Ministry has assured the government of its readiness to secure streets once the decision is applied.

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