The Russian constitutional reform, which allows President Vladimir Putin to choose two other terms and pave the way for his possible permanence in power beyond 2024, obtained the support of 77.92% of the citizens in the plebiscite on July 1 , as reported this Thursday by the Central Electoral Commission of this country.
After the scrutiny of 100% of the ballots, the electoral authority reported that only 21.27% of citizens voted against the changes in the Constitution.
In the plebiscite it had a participation rate of 64.99% of the 109 million citizens with the right to vote, said the CEC.
In an unprecedented case, more than half of the voters exercised their right to vote in advance, taking advantage of the fact that the authorities opened the schools a week in advance, on June 25, to avoid crowds and a possible outbreak of COVID-19 .
According to the CEC, more than 50 million Russians went to the polls in the first six days and only a few million in yesterday’s big day, a mechanism that, in the opinion of the opposition, was conducive to fraud.
The Ministry of the Interior reported after the vote a total of 839 complaints of irregularities, although it added that none had sufficient entity to influence the electoral results.
Aside from paving the way for Putin’s possible stay in power beyond 2024, the new wording of the Russian Constitution includes a series of amendments – 206 in all – on changes in the country’s political and social life.
Among the changes in the Magna Carta include the annual indexation of Russian pensions, the inclusion of God in the Constitution, marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as well as the prohibition to cede territory to other countries or the prevalence of fundamental law over international law.