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Poll indicates Russians consider Putin’s constitutional amendments vital

Some 90% of respondents welcomed the initiative to set the minimum wage no lower than the subsistence level

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Most Russians consider constitutional amendments proposed by President Vladimir Putin to be essential, according to a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center. The initiatives to fix the minimum wage at a subsistence level and to adjust pensions for inflation were the most welcomed, the poll says.

According to the RBC report that cites the poll, the respondents were asked about their opinion on individual constitutional amendments, with four options: "rather positive," "rather negative," "rather indifferent" and "no opinion." The poll results indicated 91% of Russians applauded the initiative to have regular cost-of-living adjustments to pensions and other monetary benefits for inflation enshrined in the Constitution. Some 90% of respondents welcomed the initiative to set the minimum wage no lower than the subsistence level.

Some 87% of those polled approved the idea to raise the residency qualification for Russian presidential candidates from 10 to 25 years. The idea to grant the Constitutional Court the power to check bills at the president’s request was supported by 81% of the survey’s respondents.

The initiative to ban people with foreign citizenship or overseas residency permits from becoming governors, lawmakers, judges, ministers and state officials was supported by 68%, the poll says.

The idea to allow the president to appoint security service heads after consulting with the Federation Council was supported by 66% of those surveyed. The same number of respondents favored the removal of the words "in a row" from presidential term limits. The initiative to give the Russian Constitution supremacy over international treaties was backed by 63% of the public, while 14% percent criticized it.

Some 62% of those polled viewed the Federation Council getting a boost in powers positively, while 61% approved the idea to let the State Duma appoint the premier, deputy prime ministers and the cabinet.

The survey was conducted on January 24, involving 1,600 respondents. Those polled were also asked whether they consider the upcoming amendments vital for themselves personally, with 79% acknowledging the amendments as personally important, and 16% considering them not important. Five percent of respondents failed to provide an opinion.

Putin’s proposed amendments bill

On January 23, the State Duma unanimously passed the constitution amendments bill introduced by President Putin. The document involves increasing the powers of the parliament and the Constitutional Court, as well as banning people with foreign citizenship from assuming high-ranking government offices, a limit on presidential terms, prioritizing the Constitution over international treaties and a package of social benefits. The bill also involves holding a nationwide vote on the constitutional amendments.