Constitutional Amendments Approved in Russia

3 m.   |  2020-07-11

A fter a two-month delay, a referendum on constitutional amendments was held in Russia on July 1. According to the data of the Central Election Commission, 77.92% of people voted in favor and 21.27% against. 65% of the population participated in the voting. These results exceeded the Yeltsin Constitution adopted in 1993, with 58.5% of participation, 58.43% of which voted in favor and 41.57% against.

Due to the COVID-2019 pandemic, voters from Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod were allowed to vote online. A total of 1,190,726 people were registered for e-voting, 1,051,000 of which from Moscow. The turnout in e-voting in the capital city exceeded 91%.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a polling station

On the last day of the elections, voting took place at polling stations. The largest turnout was registered in Chechnya (95.14%). It is than followed by Tuva (96,79%), Crimea (90.07%), Dagestan (89,19%) and Nenets Autonomous Okrug (89,19%). The only place, where more people voted against was Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Here 54.57% of voters didn’t accept the new amendments to the constitution. The Russians voting in New York didn’t support the changes: 310 people out of 816 voted for and 505 against the changes.

8 39 cases of violations were reported during the referendum. The most serious one was related with e-voting. It was announced that as a result of the investigation by the online TV channel “Rain” (Dozhd), fake SIM cards are required from the residents in Moscow, so as to register them on the website, where the voting took place. According to the website, 75 rubles were promised for each registration and 50 rubles for voting in favor. After the publication, Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary for the President of Russia described it as an absolute nonsense, warning the TV channel that it may be liable for “knowingly spreading false information”, if it wasn’t proven. On the last day of voting on July 1, small rallies consisting of several hundred people were held in Moscow and in St. Petersburg. Several people were arrested but were soon released. 

Rally against constitutional amendments in Moscow

As a result of the amendments, the current President Putin is allowed to govern Russia until 2036, if he wishes. The Kremlin called the results of the vote as a “de facto triumphal referendum on confidence in Vladimir Putin”.

You can read about the constitutional amendments and comments in this article.