- Title: Russiaâ€™s vote on constitution was predictable â€“ monitor
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (JULY 2, 2020) (REUTERS) TRAFFIC
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 19:10
- Keywords: Carnegie center Golos Just Russia Kremlin Putin Russia ammendments constitution politics poll voting
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA005CL4BOEF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:An observer from Russian election monitoring NGO Golos said on Thursday (July 2) that the results of a nationwide vote on amendments to the Russian constitution were predictable.
Official results published on Thursday, after 100% of ballots had been counted, showed that nearly 78% of voters had approved constitutional changes allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to run for two more six-year terms after his current one ends in 2024. The Kremlin hailed the result as a triumph.
"The principles fundamental for such events were violated, in terms of organization and holding it," Golos observer Vitaly Averin said, adding that the campaign was not regulated and that there was little opportunity to campaign against the amendments.
Central Election Committee Head Ella Pamfilova said on Thursday that the vote was valid, and that the committee was not aware of any cases that could have affected the outcome.
Moscow Carnegie Center expert Andrei Kolesnikov believes that changing the Russian constitution was the easiest way of ensuring the Putin stays in power until 2024 because the Russian leader has not found a worthy successor.
"Hard times are coming for the Russian government in terms of politics and economics," he said, adding that the Russian people may not be content having the same leader for such a long time.
Putin himself has said that he is yet to decide on his future. Critics, who liken Putin to a latter-day Tsar, say they are sure he will run again, but some analysts say he may want to keep his options open to avoid becoming a lame duck.
At 60%, according to the Levada pollster, his approval rating remains high but well down on its peak of nearly 90%.
(Production: Alexander Reshetnikov, Dmitry Madorsky, Anton Derbenev, Peter Scott)
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