Week-ending 5 June 2020
Putin Sets July 1 For Controversial Constitutional Vote
Russian President Vladimir Putin has set July 1 as the date for the national vote on constitutional amendments that among other things would allow him to remain in power until 2036. Putin announced the decision at a meeting with co-chairs of the working group on the preparation of the bill on June 1.
Source: RFE/RL, 1 June 2020
Russia Bars Campaigns Against Reforms Extending Putin’s Rule
Russian election officials say activists are not allowed to campaign against a package of constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to extend his 20-year rule into the next decade, the RBC news website reported Tuesday. Putin announced the vote will take place on July 1 after the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 432,000 Russians forced him to postpone the original April 22 date. A key provision in the proposed changes would reset Putin’s presidential term count, opening the way for him to serve two more terms until 2036, when he would turn 83. The Moscow Times, 3 June 2020
‘There’s nothing the Kremlin hasn’t tried’ How Russian election officials plan to secure 55-percent turnout in the upcoming constitutional plebiscite
Having rescheduled Russia’s plebiscite on constitutional amendments for July 1, the Putin administration reportedly hopes at least 55 percent of eligible voters will participate in the special election. To increase turnout, they’ve introduced a raft of new rules, including staggering voting over a seven-day period, allowing voting from home, and introducing online voting for residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The pretense for all of these measures is public safety in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but these new regulations could also serve to increase official turnout figures and boost support for the amendments. Meduza, 3 June 2020