Russian Federation opens polls for vote on extending Putin's rule until 2036

Monday, 29 Jun, 2020

Precautions are also being taken for the constitutional vote, with early balloting starting on Thursday and continuing through to the official vote day on 1 July.

Roughly 110 million voters from Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast to Kamchatka on the Pacific are eligible to vote.

While critics call the vote a "sham", the Kremlin argues it is needed to strengthen the role of parliament, improve social policy, and lock in stability.

1999, 3 months before he became president. He insisted they be put to voters even though it was not legally required, a move many see as an effort to put a veneer of democracy on the controversial changes.

Ludmila Yudina, a retired speech therapist and supporter of President Vladimir Putin, has been butting heads recently with her grandchildren. Russian officials have previously blocked gay adoptions. Voting will be done online and will begin less than 24 hours after the parade. Footage posted on social networks showed voting in Russian provinces was organized out of vehicle boots, on park benches or even tree stumps - all quickly going viral to widespread ridicule.

Moscow says it has issued Russian citizenship to over 196,000 residents of the Donbass region and neighboring areas of eastern Ukraine that are under Kiev's control since Putin simplified the procedure a year ago.

Ilya, a science student, says the appeal to conservative values is a cover to convince older Russians to back the reforms.

Some economic changes that were proposed include, making the minimum wage not lower than the subsistence minimum and making adjustments to the state pension in accordance with inflation. "We have lots of problems and the amendments solve them in part".

For now, it's becoming increasingly tricky for Russian Federation to maintain good ties with both New Delhi and Beijing, said Alexander Gabuev, a China expert at the Carnegie Moscow Centre.

Macron's office said the meeting was part of an outreach effort launched in August to try to thaw France's relations with Russian Federation, which were damaged by Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Reflecting virus concerns, both Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised people to watch the procession on television rather than attend in person.

Putin said last week he had not decided whether to seek another term, but added that it was important that he have the option of running again. "We must work and not look for successors".

Supported by state media and facing no immediate threat from a divided opposition, the vote, which is on a large bundle of constitutional changes, is expected to go Putin's way despite rising unemployment, a coronavirus-battered economy and no real prospect of an economic upswing anytime soon.

Putin's approval rating is 59 percent, according to Levada, an independent pollster whose research the Kremlin has said it is not inclined to trust.

Because the referendum is meant to lend legitimacy to Putin's moves to extend his rule, the Kremlin needs not only a big result but also a high turnout.