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Turnout at online vote on Russian constitutional amendments surpasses 49.5%

The online vote began on June 25 and will end on June 30

MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. The turnout at the online vote on the amendments to Russia’s Constitution amounted to 49.51% at 06.30 Moscow time on Friday, Deputy Chairman of Moscow’s Civic Chamber Alexei Venediktov wrote on his Telegram channel.

"The turnout at the online vote was 49.51% at 06:30. About 2,000 people voted last night (from 00:00 to 06:00)," he wrote.

The online vote began on Thursday at 10:00 Moscow time. Previously registered voters from the Moscow and the Nizhny Novgorod Region can take part in the vote.

According to previous reports, about 1 mln people had registered to vote in Moscow and nearly 140,000 had done the same in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. The online vote began on June 25 and will end on June 30.

The vote on constitutional amendments

On March 11, the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) approved the final reading of the constitutional amendments bill proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. On the same day, it was approved by the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) and Russia’s regional parliaments.

A public vote is being held on the proposed constitutional amendments. If over 50% of the Russian public approve of the changes, the bill will enter into force.

The vote was initially set to take place on April 22, however, Putin chose to postpone it due to the situation with the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Russia. During a working session earlier, Putin approved July 1, 2020, as the new date for the vote. The vote will be held over a seven-day period ending on July 1 due to epidemiological concerns.

The document proposes to expand the powers of the Russian parliament and the Russian Constitutional Court, a fixed number of presidential terms, as well as the prevalence of the Russian Constitution over international agreements. The document also expands the government’s obligations in the social sphere. The amendments to the Constitution stipulate that the Russian head of state can only serve two terms, however, one of the amendments proposes that the current president can be re-elected if the new version of the Constitution comes into force.