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Laura Bush Endorses Mubarak Political Reforms


U.S. First Lady Laura Bush has endorsed proposed political reforms in Egypt -- despite criticism of the proposals by Egyptian opposition groups.

Speaking at the Giza pyramids near Cairo Monday, Mrs. Bush called the reforms proposed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak bold and wise.

Egyptians will vote Wednesday on changing the constitution to allow more than one candidate to run in the country's first direct presidential elections.

Previous presidential votes in Egypt have been "yes" or "no" referendums with only one candidate on the bllots. Opposition groups say the new rules are so strict they will prevent any serious challenge to Mr. Mubarak, who has been in office since 1981 and may seek a fifth term in this year's election.

On Monday, Egypt's administrative court rejected several petitions by opposition and independent groups against the referendum.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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