Russia holds voting day on constitutional amendments

Russia holds voting day on constitutional amendments

The main voting day on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation is being held nationwide today, on July 1. By the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, this day has been declared non-working.

A public vote is being held on the proposed constitutional amendments. If over 50% of the Russian public approve of the changes, the bill will enter into force.

About 50 million Russian nationals took part in the Constitution amendments voting in five days, according to chair of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova. She said that on June 30, the voting turnout reached 45.7%.

The final turnout at the online voting on amendments to the Russian constitution was 93.02%, with more than 1.1 ballots issued, according to the data on information screens at the center monitoring the voting process.

The online vote began on Thursday, June 25, at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time and finished at 20:00 Moscow time on June 30. Voters from the Moscow and the Nizhny Novgorod region could take part. As many as 1,107,648 ballots were issued in the system of remote electronic voting. Around one million voters in Moscow and some 140,000 in Nizhny Novgorod regions have registered for taking part in the online voting, TASS reported.

The vote was initially set to take place on April 22, however, Putin chose to postpone it due to the situation with the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Russia. During a working session earlier, Putin approved July 1, 2020, as the new date for the vote.

The document proposes to expand the powers of the Russian parliament and the Russian Constitutional Court, a fixed number of presidential terms, as well as the prevalence of the Russian Constitution over international agreements. The document also expands the government’s obligations in the social sphere. The amendments to the Constitution stipulate that the Russian head of state can only serve two terms, however, one of the amendments proposes that the current president can be re-elected if the new version of the Constitution comes into force.

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