A nationwide referendum to open the way for the country's first multicandidate &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/politics/2002/04/17/27691.html ' target=_blank>presidential elections passed overwhelmingly, officials announced Thursday, saying more voters participated than in any previous similar balloting.
The results mean President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/diplomatic/2001/10/16/18144.html ' target=_blank>Hosni Mubarak, the country's 24-year leader, will face opposition when he runs for a fifth term in September. But critics say the law, which allows candidates to run only with approval from Mubarak's party, is a sham.
Official results showed 83 percent of voters approved the constitutional changes in balloting Wednesday that was marred by scattered violence.
Turnout was 54 percent of registered voters - a figure the Interior Ministry said was higher than in any previous presidential referendum, tells the Guardian Unlimited.
Russia has left the list of 33 largest holders of US government bonds, after the country disposed of at least a third of remaining bonds