76% Russians back reforms to extend Putin rule, say exit polls

Rodiano Bonacci
Luglio 1, 2020

The seven-day nationwide vote on constitutional reforms began on June 25.

"We are voting for the country we want to live in, the country with modern education, health care, social protection of citizens and an efficient government accountable to people", the 67-year old president said. "We vote for the country for which we work, and we want to pass it on to our children and grandchildren", Putin said. That is consistent with the official get-out-the-vote campaign which has stressed other amendments instead.

If approved, the changes would allow Mr Putin to run twice for president again after his current term in office expires in 2024.

At 60%, according to the Levada pollster, his approval rating remains high but well down on its peak of almost 90%.

Putin has said he has yet to take a final decision on his future, though critics are convinced he will run again.

The Kremlin has rejected a suggestion from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov that Vladimir Putin should be installed as president for life.

"Right now who can replace him?" said Kadyrov. "There's no such world class leader and we should be proud of that".

He thanked those who had already voted and asked those who did not to do so on Wednesday, the main and last day of voting.

Putin has said he wants a clean vote, something election officials have pledged to deliver.

There is no minimum turnout required to make the vote valid, but analysts say the Kremlin fears a low turnout could undermine the perceived legitimacy of the constitutional changes.

Voting stations opened on June 25 for a week to help avoid crowds on July 1, the day designated for the vote, as Russian Federation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. He screamed out in pain after his arm was pinned behind his back.

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