The lawmakers on Tuesday approved the first reading of a proposed military conscription law and turned it over to the committee for Interior and Defense affairs for any would-be amendments before the second reading vote takes place. The law stipulates that military service is incumbent on citizens who reach the age of 18 but are not older than 35. The service period is for 12 months and includes time for training.
Those who fulfill their obligatory military service, can afterwards, if they wish, serve in the reserve force. Those wishing to do so will have to serve for 30 days in a given year, stipulates the proposed law.
It also stipulates that any citizen wishing to work for the government or private sector must produce to their employers evidence of military service or exemption from it.
The law makes allowances for exemptions from military service in a number of cases including those citizens with serious ailments or physical disabilities. It also allows postponement of service for those who need to complete their studies, who are their families' sole wage earners, or are their families' single offspring, among other conditions for postponement.
If this new law is formally adopted, it will supplant one that had been passed in 1980 and used for over 20 year, and will in effect address many pitfalls and loopholes in the 1980 law.