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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > May
Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 26, 2005
Question Taken at the May 26, 2005 Daily Press Briefing

Egyptian Referendum Vote (Taken Question)

Question:   What is the U.S. reaction to the May 25 referendum vote in Egypt?

Answer:   Yesterday's referendum on Egypt's constitutional amendment on Presidential elections was a key element of President Mubarak's decision to bring about political reform in Egypt. Achieving such reform is critical for the people of Egypt.

We are seriously concerned by the reports of beatings and intimidation of opposition figures during yesterday’s voting. Particularly distressing are the reports that some of the attacks appeared to focus on abuse and intimidation of women.

We welcomed President Mubarak’s February 26 announcement that the upcoming Presidential elections would be free, fair and open to multiple candidates as an important step forward. The violent intimidation witnessed yesterday is incompatible with genuinely free and fair election process.

We urge the Government of Egypt to investigate these reports and take steps necessary to ensure that such intimidation does not occur again. The Egyptian people should be free to speak, assemble and choose their leaders in an atmosphere free from intimidation.

We are expressing these concerns to the Government of Egypt in Cairo and in Washington.

2005/557


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