Over 73% people voted in favour of constitutional amendments in Russia, initial reviews suggest

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jul 01, 2020, 06:28 PM IST

File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photograph:(AFP)

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The changes saw a majority support, which would enable Vladimir Putin to run again for president twice

Initial results of the voting on constitutional amendments in Russia have revealed that nearly 73 per cent of the voters have backed the potential changes.

As per Interfax news agency, the changes saw a majority support, which would enable Vladimir Putin to run again for president twice.

Based on an early tally by another agency, 73.7 per cent people voted in favour of the impending reforms.

The Kremlin reluctantly postponed the vote earlier scheduled for April 22 as Covid-19 infections increased and officials imposed restrictions to slow the pandemic.

Putin introduced the reforms to the 1993 Constitution in January this year, and they were hastily adopted by both Houses of Parliament and regional lawmakers.

Once the constitutional changes are approved, Putin would be able to run for two more back-to-back six-year terms after his current one expires in 2024.

The former KGB operative has been in power as either president or prime minister since 1999, and has not ruled out running again, but says he has not taken a final decision.

Critics believe he intends to cling to power like elderly Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev who died in office. Others believe he is keeping his options open so as no to become a lame duck ahead of 2024 and may yet still hand over the reins to a handpicked but currently unknown successor.

Supported by state media and facing no immediate threat from a divided opposition, the vote, which is on a large bundle of constitutional changes, is expected to go Putin's way despite rising unemployment, a coronavirus-battered economy and no real prospect of an economic upswing anytime soon.

(With inputs from Reuters)