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Putin approves July 1 as date for constitutional amendments vote

The president rejected the idea of holding the vote on Victory parade day, June 24

NOVO-OGARYOVO, June 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin approved July 1 as the date for the constitutional amendments vote. 

According to the president, ideas were voiced to hold the vote on the same day as the rescheduled Victory parade, June 24, which he believes is wrong.

"There were even ideas to hold the vote right on the day of the parade. We should not combine it with anything, it is a separate major milestone in the life of the country. The Victory parade is sacred," Putin stressed at a working meeting. 

"Let’s not mix it with anything, and I think we should not try to save money on it [the voting] either, because one of the motives to hold [the vote] on the day of the Victory parade [June 24 — TASS] is to save money as it is also a non-working day," the president underscored, adding that there wouldn't be any saving on the voting.

The president has called for active participation of Russians in the constitutional amendments vote.

"Of course, I would like to address our citizens, calling for their active participation in the Russian national vote, because we are talking about the main law of the country — the Constitution that forms the basis of our country’s life, our life, the life of our children today, and that will determine the main legal guarantees, the main judicial guarantees in the sphere of social relations, in the sphere of labor relations, as well as our principles of cooperation with foreign partners," the Russian leader said during a working session.

"It is not a coincidence that the Constitution is the main law of the country. I expect that Russian citizens will take a very active part in determining the parameters of the main law in the vote on constitutional amendments," Putin stressed.

Implementation prior to enforcement

Ideas of some amendments to the Russian Constitution are in such a high demand that they are being implemented even before corresponding amendments have entered force, Vladimir Putin noted.

"We implement some things even before constitutional amendments are adopted. This indicates that those amendments that were proposed, including by the working group, are in demand, in perfect demand today," the head of state said.

In January 2020, Putin suggested to introduce a number of amendments to the basic law. Following a discussion within the working group, the State Duma (lower house) and the Federation Council (upper house) adopted the final bill on March 11, followed by approval by all regions of Russia.

After that, Putin signed an order, scheduling the nationwide vote on the amendments for April 22, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The amendments will enter force only if approved in the nationwide vote.

The document proposes to expand the powers of the Russian parliament and the Russian Constitutional Court, sets a fixed number of presidential terms and states 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.