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Russia faced unprecedented opposition to constitutional amendment vote, says speaker

According to the lawmaker, there were attacks from foreign Internet accounts on the Central Election Commission's websites
Speaker of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko Mikhail Tereshenko/TASS
Speaker of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko
© Mikhail Tereshenko/TASS

MOSCOW, July 2. /TASS/. Russia has faced unprecedented level of counteraction to the nationwide constitutional amendment vote from overseas, which cannot be left unanswered, Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Valentina Matviyenko said Thursday.

"We faced an unprecedented opposition to what seems to be an exclusively Russian domestic affair, especially from foreign Internet accounts: DDoS attacks on CEC [Central Election Commission — TASS] websites, a flow of fakes and lies that do not come anywhere close to reality, as well as doctored videos that tried to fabricate this negativity towards the vote," she noted.

According to her, these facts should be scrutinized, due to which the upper house will in July hear a report of the Federation Council’s commission for the protection of state sovereignty and prevention of interference in Russia’s domestic affairs.

"The commission has been thoroughly monitoring everything that’s been happening, noting facts of brazen interference in Russia’s sovereign affairs, violation of legislation and spreading of fakes. The commission will continue to work, it will summarize the results and draw conclusions," Matviyenko said.

The nationwide vote on amendments to the Russian constitution was completed across the whole country at 21:00 Moscow time on Wednesday. Even though the official vote day was set for July 1 by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order, citizens could take part in it throughout the seven-day period between June 25 and July 1 due to coronavirus precautions meant to eliminate the risk of transmission. All votes cast throughout the voting period were tallied. According to the law, the absolute majority of voters who cast their ballots should back the amendments for them to enter into force, a minimal turnout level was not set.

As the Russian Central Election Commission reported after 100% of voting protocols were processed, the changes were supported by 77,92% of the voters at polling stations, while 21.27% opposed them.