Egypt Independent

US praises lifting of Emergency Law, seeks clarification of ‘thuggery’

The US on Tuesday praised

Egypt's decision to lift the much-hated state of emergency and to hand power to Parliament as "major steps toward the normalization of political life."

Egypt’s de-facto leader on Tuesday declared the cancellation of the state of emergency in a televised speech ahead of the anniversary of the 25 January revolution Wednesday.

The decision came the same day that many MPs in the newly installed People's Assembly have asked to abolish the notorious law, which commentators say was one of the factors that triggered massive protests against former President Hosni Mubarak.

 "We congratulate the people of Egypt, who have been asking for this for some time and who have persevered in their effort to achieve this and many other of the goals of their peaceful revolution. We also note that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced that it's turning over all legislative authority to Egypt's newly elected and seated People's Assembly," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

"So these are obviously good steps. Taken together, these actions represent major steps forward in the normalization of political life in Egypt." 

But Washington still sought clarification of "a little footnote" to military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi's announcement that he would lift the Emergency Law except in cases of "thuggery," Nuland told reporters.

 "We are seeking some clarification from the Egyptian government what they mean by that. But the fact that they are finally, after these many, many months of demands, taking the major step is very important for Egypt and for its future."