BREAKING: President Putin Declared Winner In Referendum, Allowing Him To Rule Until 2036
July. 01, 2020
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has been declared triumphant after winning an election on constitutional reform, one that would allow him to rule until 2036.
Many observers remain sceptical after Russia's election commission published live ‘preliminary’ results, five hours before polling closed.
The projection of 73 per cent in favour of amendments was broadly in line with exit polls published by state pollsters FOM and VTsIOM.
They projected 70 per cent and 76 per cent respectively, also before the end of polling.
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The opposition groups however painted a different picture with their own exit polls projecting a tie in Moscow (49.91 per cent for, 49.87 against) and a defeat for the president in his home city of St Petersburg (42,02 percent for, 57.7 per cent against).
The vote was an unusual electoral exercise for Russia, with polling stretched over seven days and in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic.
Critics believe that the whole process was a trick to boost turnout from a population tired of their longtime leader.
According to Levada Centre, Russia’s most independent pollster, Mr Putin is still trusted by 59 per cent of Russians, but that figure is down 30 per cent from a post-Crimea high of three years ago.
In open polling, i.e. when Russians are asked to name the politicians they most trust themselves, support drops to 29 per cent. The figure is lowest among young voters, with less than one in ten expressing affiliation.
The ballot asked for a yes or no answer to 206 amendments in entirety.
The proposal to reset Mr Putin’s term limits was only one, with official campaign literature invariably focused on the other 205 changes.
These amendments hit on populist pressure points: from recognising marriage as heterosexual union to guarantees for indexation of pensions and other social benefits.
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