Russia to Vote Next Month on Reforms That Could Extend Putins Rule

MOSCOW—Russia will hold a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms on July 1, President Vladimir Putin said on June 1, setting the stage for a delayed ballot that could extend his rule until 2036.

Putin postponed the original vote, which had been set for April 22, because of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak, saying the health and safety of citizens was his top priority as the global pandemic worsened.

But he says the situation has now broadly stabilized and the number of infections in Moscow has dropped sharply, allowing the capital to start easing some restrictions.

The changes that Russians will vote on, already approved by parliament and Russias Constitutional Court, would reset Putins presidential term tally to zero, allowing him to serve two more back-to-back six-year terms until 2036 if re-elected.

“I really hope the countrys citizens will take part actively in the vote on the amendments to the constitution,” Putin, whose current term ends in 2024, told a televised government meeting.

Critics have dismissed the vote as a constitutional coup which they fear will be rigged and urged voters to stay away or to reject the proposed changes.

One critic, Lyubov Sobol, said July 1 was too early, given the CCP virus situation.

“Let everyone get infected, just so long as the granddad in the Kremlin is satisfied?” she wrote on Twitter.Read More – Source