- Title: Russian villagers vote early on controversial constitution changes
- Date: 25th June 2020
- Summary: GIGIREVO VILLAGE, MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA (JUNE 25, 2020) (REUTERS) ELECTION COMMISSION EMPLOYEES SITTING AT TABLE BALLOTS, MASKS, GLOVES ON TABLE ELECTION COMMISSION EMPLOYEE WEARING PROTECTIVE GEAR VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEE DISINFECTING BALLOT BOX BALLOT BOX WOMAN DISINFECTING HANDS AT ENTRANCE TO POLLING STATION BALLOT CASES WOMAN CASTING BALLOT ELECTION COMMISSION EMPLOYEES SITTING AT TABLES WOMAN CASTING BALLOT WOMAN REGISTERING TO VOTE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) POLLING STATION EMPLOYEE, ELENA TYULENEVA, SAYING: "Because of the pandemic, we give to the people who cannot come to the polling station the following sets - there are personal protective equipment, a mask, gloves, a pen, a memo with information on how to vote, a brochure with amendments to the constitution, each resident, before making their choice, can read the amendments." HAND SANITISER EMPLOYEES CLOSING BALLOT CASES VARIOUS VILLAGES, MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA (JUNE 25, 2020) (REUTERS) ELECTION COMMISSION EMPLOYEES WALKING ALONG VILLAGE STREET VARIOUS OF WOMAN VOTING THROUGH WINDOW AS OFFICIALS WATCH VILLAGE HOUSE ELDERLY WOMAN UNPACKING VOTING KIT VARIOUS OF WOMAN BEING REGISTRATED FOR VOTING (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PENSIONER, ANTONINA, SAYING: "I would elect him (Putin) for another 10 years. There were no such presidents like Putin. He is smart, he has improved people's lives. How many misfortunes are around - he does everything, solves problems. People like him must be kept and not let go. He is smart, good, very kind." BALLOT CASE ELECTION COMMISSION EMPLOYEES GIVING VOTING KIT TO WOMAN WOMAN LEAVING HOUSE VARIOUS OF WOMAN BEING REGISTRATED FOR VOTING BALLOT CASE PENSIONER, ALEXANDRA YARMYSH, CASTING BALLOT (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PENSIONER, ALEXANDRA YARMYSH, SAYING: "Everything is fine, I believe that both the head of the country and the people who worked on the constitution do not want things to be bad in our country." ELECTION COMMISSION EMPLOYEES GIVING VOTING KIT TO MAN
- Embargoed: 9th July 2020 19:02
- Keywords: Putin vote Russia Russia vote constitutional changes village
- Location: MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001CJVBNTL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Russians on Thursday (June 25) began casting their ballots in a seven-day vote on sweeping reforms that could clear the way for President Vladimir Putin to stay in the Kremlin until 2036 if re-elected, an exercise that critics call a constitutional coup.
Election commission employees at a polling station in the village of Gigirevo are equipped to allow people to vote safely amid the coronavirus pandemic, with sanitisers and personal protective equipment.
The vote is taking place despite concerns in opposition circles over the safety of people voting during the pandemic, worries over voter fraud, and criticism that Putin, 67, has already been in power too long.
All necessary safety precautions will be taken during the vote, authorities say.
One of the main reforms would allow Putin to run for the presidency again in 2024 and, if re-elected, serve two more consecutive six-year terms in the Kremlin until 2036.
Putin, 67, is due now to step down at the end of his current stint, which is his second consecutive term and fourth overall since he came to power more than two decades ago.
Russia's coronavirus tally surged past 600,000 cases on Wednesday (June 24), the third-highest in the world, with thousands of new infections being reported every day, although authorities say the virus is on the wane.
(Production: Anastasia Adasheva, Evgenia Novozhenina)
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