"The amendments come to unify disciplinary measures to achieve equality among police officers and personnel and secure stability among police institutions and authorities," said the Head of the House's Defence and National Security Committee, Ahmed Al-Awadi, adding that "the amendments will also help reinforce the values of discipline and seniority among police officers and personnel."
According to Al-Awadi, "since its foundation in 1805, the Ministry of Interior and police officers have been playing a great role in maintaining stability and security in Egypt, and so it is important to do everything possible to support them and improve their performance."
"The amendments to the 1971 law also come to achieve legal and legislative stability among police officers and put them on equal footing before the law," said Al-Awadi.
Under the amendments, the general director of the interior ministry's disciplinary department will replace police chiefs in having the exclusive right to take disciplinary action against "undisciplined" police officers and personnel.
"This will help achieve equality among police officers and unify disciplinary measures taken against them," said a parliamentary report.
The amendments will also give the Higher Council for Policemen the right to send "undisciplined" police officers and personnel to early retirement, transfer them to a civilian job or end their service if they fail to attend the interior ministry's periodic training courses aimed at rehabilitating police officers and personnel.
"If a police officer fails to attend at least 50 per cent of the training courses, he/she will be considered unfit to retain his job," said the report, adding that "if the interior ministry's medical care department also finds that a police officer is physically unfit, it will recommend that this officer goes into retirement."
Article Four of the amended law also stipulates that the decisions taken by the Higher Council for Policemen must gain the approval of the absolute majority of its members. "The Council will not be obliged to give reasons for its decisions related to the performance of police officers for security considerations," said the report.
Many MPs argued that while the amendments aim to achieve equality and discipline, it is also essential that the government does its best to raise the salaries of police officers and personnel.
"We all know that policemen do their job in tough conditions and among hazardous risks, so it is important to raise salaries all the time as a reward for their efforts," said MP Mostafa Bakri, stressing that "policemen played a major role in standing up to terrorist attacks which have targeted Egypt in recent years."
The house's approval of the amendments to the Police Authority Law comes just ten days ahead of Egypt’s 71st Police Day.