Russian President Vladimir Putin will continue to hold his post till 2036 as the citizens on Wednesday voted in favour of the country’s political status quo, the preliminary results have predicted.
Russia went to polls on Wednesday to cast vote in a countrywide referendum on constitutional amendments. With this win Putin will continue to remain president till 2036, media reported.
The turnout for the vote on amendments to the Russian Constitution reached to 64.99% by 5 pm (local time), Sputnik reported while stating data published by the Central Election Commission. The turnout includes the votes cast from 25 June until polls close at 8 pm (local time).
The Central Election Commission said just over 70% of votes counted across the world`s largest country had supported changing the constitution. Almost 29% had voted no of the 2.68% of ballots counted. Fuller results are due at 1900 GMT.
The vote seeks to introduce amendments to Russia’s 1993 Constitution, which will include protecting the institution of marriage, setting children as a priority of Russia’s domestic policy and an obligation to support and protect Russia’s culture.
The amendments also include a limit of two consecutive six-year terms for the president of the Russian Federation. The provision applies to the president at the time the legal changes enter into force, not taking into account the number of terms previously served in this position, thus paving the way for President Vladimir Putin to run again after his current term ends in 2024, Sputnik reported.
Putin, 67, made no mention of how the changes could affect his own career in an eve-of-vote speech on Tuesday. They would allow him to run for another two six-year, consecutive stints after his current term expires in 2024.
Putin has said he has yet to decide on his future. Critics 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%.
With Russia reporting thousands of new COVID-19 cases each day, opponents have been unable to stage protests but have mocked the vote online, sharing photographs of polling stations in apartment stairwells, courtyards and the boot of a car.