Egypt’s senate on Monday ratified a law that would grant the armed forces powers of arrest, the official MENA news agency reported.
According to the text the armed forces will “support the police in maintaining order and protecting vital installations. The army has also “be given powers of arrest according to the law”, it said.
The law, which has to be ratified by the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, would apply until after the next legislative elections and be invoked whenever the president deems it necessary, state news agency MENA said.
It would also give the defense minister the power to determine the location of the deployment, the troops required as well as define their missions.
The draft comes a day after Mursi declared a month-long state of emergency in the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailiya after they were hit by deadly riots.
In a televised address he also slapped the three provinces with night-time curfews, while calling the opposition — which accuses him of betraying the revolution that brought him to power — to a national dialogue at the presidential palace.
Egypt’s main opposition coalition has rejected the Islamist president’s call for dialogue to resolve the country’s political crisis, unless their conditions are met.
At least 56 people were killed in Egypt since the violence began just days ago.