"On May 25, 2005, the Egyptian public approved (in a public referendum) the amending of Article 76 of the Egyptian constitution to permit direct and pluralistic elections for the presidency. Some members of the opposition boycotted the referendum, calling the amendment insufficient in that it sets difficult requirements for independent candidates to run in future elections, does not guarantee freedom of assembly for political parties, and does not provide for independent judicial oversight of elections. The ruling National Democratic Party has called the approval of the amendment a step forward for Egyptian democracy. Over the past several weeks, Egyptian authorities have arrested hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood protestors, including several of the groups leaders. In addition, activists from the Kifaya ('Enough') movement have accused Egyptian police officers of sexually assaulting female protesters on the day of the constitutional referendum."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB93087