US skeptical about Egypt's referendum outcome

The Bush administration is expressing skepticism about Egypt's official version of the outcome in its referendum on amending its constitution. "Many voices in Egypt have criticized the abbreviated process, which led up to this referendum, and have criticized the amendments themselves as a missed opportunity to advance reform and a step backward," White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said Tuesday. "We also took note of significant discrepancies between the estimates of voter turnout provided by the government and by both Egyptian and foreign media and observers." President Hosni Mubarak announced a week ago that Egyptian voters would go to the polls on Monday to vote on 34 constitutional amendments, which he said were to help promote a more democratic system.