MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. The turnout at online voting on amendments to Russia’s Constitution has surged to 75%, with nearly 879,700 voters taking part, according to data on information screens at the center monitoring the voting process.
The online vote began on Thursday, June 25, at 10:00 Moscow time. Voters from the Moscow and the Nizhny Novgorod Region can take part. As of 20.14 Moscow time on Saturday, June 27, the turnout stood at 75.0% and 879,654 ballots were accepted. The online voting will end in about 72 hours.
"We have surpassed the threshold of two thirds in online voting. The turnout in both regions of the [Russian] Federation - Moscow and the Nizhny Novgorod Region - is 75%," Deputy Chairman of Moscow’s Civic Chamber Alexei Venediktov told TASS.
According to previous reports, about one million voters had registered 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.