Russian Voters Back Reforms Allowing Vladimir Putin To Rule Until 2036

Cheryl Sanders
July 3, 2020

Ella Pamfilova, head of the commission, said the vote had been transparent and that officials had done everything to ensure its integrity.

That means Putin, 67, could rule until the age of 83.

The ballot count at his precinct showed a 52 percent vote against Mr Putin's amendments. The changes allow Putin to run for two more six-year terms after his current one expires in 2024, but also outlaw same-sex marriages, mention the "belief in God as a core value" and emphasize the primacy of Russian law over global norms.

Vladimir Putin arriving to cast his vote yesterday at a polling station in Moscow
Vladimir Putin arriving to cast his vote yesterday at a polling station in Moscow

The amendments anchor the constitution taking precedence over worldwide agreements, ban any action threatening Russia's territorial integrity, and also draw the line on traditional values, such as forbidding same-sex marriage.

Critics of the regime said the results of the referendum had been falsified on an industrial scale.

Russia's two houses of parliament had already stamped their approval but Putin chose the will of the people to put his powers on the line. Putin is headed for a big majority as are being counted in Russian Federation.

The vote, which was originally scheduled for April 22, had to be postponed after health officials reported a spike in coronavirus cases that overwhelmed hospitals and saw Russian Federation become the world's most infected country after the United States and Brazil.

Putin said during the campaign to change the constitution that he would not let the traditional notion of a mother and father be subverted by what he called "parent number 1" and "parent number 2". Turnout was 68 percent, the Central Election Commission said.

The Kremlin pulled out all the stops to encourage voting, with polls extended over almost a week, the last day of voting declared a national holiday and prizes - including apartments, cars and cash - on offer to voters.

Putin also used a meeting with officials broadcast on state television to try to poke fun at the USA embassy in Moscow for flying the rainbow flag as part of LGBT pride celebrations. "At least I expressed my opinion".

President Vladimir Putin thanked Russians on Thursday for voting in favour of controversial amendments to the constitution that could extend his grip on power, as the opposition and Western leaders voiced criticism over suspected poll violations. "Boycott of Putin's amendments" protesting on Palace Square in St. Petersburg, Russia.

"The opposition here in Russian Federation is very divided, including on this vote, some people have said that you should stay home, that you should boycott the vote, some people have said that you should come out and be counted, to say you are against this vote", DW's Moscow correspondent Emily Sherwin explained.

Putin said in a recent interview that he had not decided whether to run again but suggested that part of the reason for the presidential reset was to allow Russia's political elite to focus on governing instead of "hunting for possible successors".

Other reports by iNewsToday