[holding answer 22 March 2007]: The Egyptian Government have committed to a process of political reform. In recent years some important reforms have taken place. The constitution was amended in 2005 to allow multi-candidate presidential elections to be held for the first time. Domestic monitors were allowed to observe parliamentary and presidential elections for the first time in 2005. In December 2006, President Mubarak announced further constitutional amendments; these will be voted on in a referendum today. The President has also committed to ending the state of emergency by May 2008.
There is scope for further progress in enhancing the transparency and independence of the electoral system, as well as increasing the participation of women in the political process. We will continue to monitor the implementation of the reforms and the constitutional amendments. We will also continue to work with Egypt to promote democracy and human rights.