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Large majority of Russians vote to amend constitution

Russians have voted in favor of amendments to the country's Constitution, the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced after 99,9 percent of ballots were processed. According to the CEC, only 21,26 percent voted against it, while a majority of 77,93 percent supported the changes.

Published: July 2, 2020, 9:17 am

    Moscow

    Preliminary data show a high turnout amid Covid-19 measures, with almost 65 percent of citizens participating, Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) head Ella Pamfilova said on Wednesday. Both in Moscow and the Nizhny Novogorod Region where online voting was possible, it proved to be popular among residents.

    “According to our preliminary data, the turnout was 65 percent of the voting participants included in the list,” Pamfilova noted. The CEC chairwoman also highlighted the negligible number of violations regarding the ballot but added that all necessary measures would be taken to crack down on fraud.

    A observer from the European Parliament Helene Laporte, confirmed that the voting process had complied with all democratic and sanitary standards.

    “The second round of municipal elections just ended in France, and, comparing these elections, I can say that the voting here [in Russia] meets all the democratic requirements … The right to vote has been granted to absolutely everyone, even disabled persons and those who cannot get to a polling place can vote at home,” Laporte told a briefing at Russia’s Civic Chamber.

    Chief of Main Directorate for Political-Military Affairs of the Russian Armed Forces, Andrey Kartapolov said more than 99 percent of Russian military servicemen had voted.

    “In the Armed Forces, the all-Russian vote on the constitutional amendments proposed by the president [Vladimir Putin] is almost over by now. We, as usual, actively participated in the voting … more than 1,5 million people voted. The turnout is 99,991 percent, according to our estimates,” Kartapolov told the media.

    The amendments to Russia’s 1993 constitution will safeguard marriage as the union of a man and a woman, set the well-being of children as a domestic policy priority and protect the country’s unique multi-ethnic heritage. The proposed changes also aim to protect Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    It will set a limit of two consecutive six-year terms for the president of the Russian Federation. This will only apply to a president at the time these legal changes enter into force. Thus the number of terms previously served in this position will not be taken into account, paving the way for President Vladimir Putin to serve again if he is elected after his current term ends in 2024.

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