MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. About 2,000 Russian citizens abroad have voted on Russian constitutional amendments in advance, head of the Russian Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova said on Tuesday.
"About 2,000 people have voted in advance from abroad. Right now, the mobility isn’t high, people barely go on vacation, planes are not flying yet, but many of our citizens are abroad due to various circumstances, and we have focused on that," Pamfilova said.
She added that according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, there are 254 polling stations in 144 countries.
About the constitutional amendments vote
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 Federation Council (upper house of parliament) and regional parliaments.
The text of the bill was published on the official legal information portal. After the Constitutional Court’s ruling, which states that the bill does not violate the Constitution, a public vote will be held. 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 spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Russia. 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.