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Russians living abroad will be able to vote on constitutional amendments

The issue was coordinated with the Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Russian citizens living abroad will be able to vote on the proposed constitutional amendments, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission Nikolai Bulayev said on Thursday, noting that this issue was coordinated with the Foreign Ministry.

"Our people living abroad will take part in the vote. We have held a meeting with the Russian Foreign Ministry. We will prepare ballot papers with the same degree of protection as in Russia," Bulayev told a meeting of the working group on constitutional amendments.

Although this is a costly procedure, Russia will carry it out in order to ensure "absolute trust" in the outcome of the vote in any place on the globe, he said.

On January 23, Russia’s State Duma (lower house) unanimously voted to approve the bill in the first reading on the constitutional amendments submitted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The document, in particular, stipulates expanding the powers of the legislature and the Constitutional Court, a ban on high-ranking officials from holding residency permits in other countries, limiting the number of presidential terms, placing the supremacy of Russia’s constitution over international agreements and strengthening the state’s social obligations. The presidential bill also provides for a nationwide public vote on the law on amendments to Russia’s constitution. Initially, the second reading was scheduled for February 11, but later it was delayed until February 14 and March 2 due to a large number of proposals.

Earlier, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced that the lawmakers could consider the presidential bill in the second reading on March 10.