Vladimir Putin wins Russia vote that could let him rule until 2036
July 2, 2020 - Almost 78% of voters in Russia have approved amendments to the country's constitution that will allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036, Russian election officials said Thursday after all the votes were counted. Kremlin critics said the vote was rigged.
In the week-long balloting that concluded on Wednesday, 77.9% voted for the changes, and 21.3% voted against, with 100% of the precincts counted by Thursday morning, Russia’s Central Election Commission said. The turnout exceeded 64%, according to officials.
The reported numbers reflect the highest level of voter support for Putin in 10 years. In the 2018 presidential election, 76.7% of voters supported his candidacy, while in the 2012 election only 63.6% did.
But Kremlin critics say the numbers alone show they are false, with an unrealistic approval rating for the Russian leader amid wide frustration in the country over declining living standards.
“A record in falsifying votes has been set in Russia,” opposition politician Alexei Navalny said in a Facebook post on Thursday. “The announced result has nothing whatsoever to do with the people’s opinion.”
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