Even if many saw its conclusion, from the outset, as foregone. [36] On 20 January Putin submitted a bill on constitutional amendments to the State Duma (the lower house of parliament). Each embassy and consulate will determine on its own if it is possible to arrange voting until 1 July. The largest were the amendments proposed in the 2008 Presidential message. Мнения политологов", "Планируемые поправки в Конституцию РФ: президентские предложения", "Владимир Путин предложил вынести на обсуждение ряд поправок в Конституцию", "The Theatrical Method in Putin's Vote Madness", "Можно ли избираться в президенты больше двух сроков подряд? [51] However, in order to demonstrate strong management skills, local authorities and state-funded organizations are using traditional tactics to increase voter participation and encouraging people to vote online and ahead-of-schedule. These voting options are available not only on 1 July, but also from 25 to 30 June.

The Federal Constitutional Law on the Referendum was adopted in 1995. [47][44], Three categories of participants can observe and control the voting: members of the commission with the casting vote, observers and media representatives.

[68][69] The interim governor of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Yuri Bezdudny, said: "Yes, the majority of the inhabitants of the Nenets spoke out against the Russian vote. Other amendments included an amendment to merge the Supreme and Supreme Arbitration Courts, as well as the amendment to appoint an additional group of Federation Council members ("representatives of the Russian Federation") by the President. The Kremlin put the process in motion early. They make Putin immune from prosecution once he steps down and leave open other pathways to a continued grip on power, including a potential role on a reconstituted State Council -- a body that is now largely ceremonial but gets a boost from the amendments and may be further empowered by future legislation. [52][53][54], The law that regulates nationwide voting does not mention any political agitation. By calling it a "nationwide vote," the Kremlin was able to avoid the stringent requirements that Russian law places on referendums, including a minimum turnout and other conditions aimed at safeguarding against fraud and manipulation. [23], The amendments stipulate social guarantees for citizens. These measures include extending the voting period to five days, screening for fever with a thermometer at the entrance to polling stations, providing polling station workers with personal protective equipment and encouraging social distancing. The URL has been copied to your clipboard.

As there is no minimum voter turn-out, the amendments will be considered approved and enacted if the majority of the actual voters agree with the changes. [59] On 4 June, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov called on his supporters to vote against the amendments. The Constitutional Court swiftly upheld the legitimacy of that amendment and the rest, leaving no space for debate about their legality. The newspaper also suggested that "a long propaganda campaign preceded the referendum", and that public discourse focused mainly on the patriotic elements of the bill, such as remembering the war dead of World War II, enshrining the Russian language, and pension protection. "The constitutional amendments serve Putin's short-term political goals while enabling him to avoid any lame-duck status," William Pomeranz, an expert on Russian law and deputy director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, told RFE/RL. Unlike the leaders of other countries hit hard by the coronavirus, Putin didn’t see a rally-round-the-flag effect after the pandemic began spreading across the country in March. Nevertheless, the last poll of 15 June by state-run VTsIOM recorded that 83% of respondents knew the date of the all-Russian vote, 68% of respondents expressed their intention to vote, 17% did not plan to vote.[65][66][67]. Kablis suggested that after receiving at 21:00 automatically the preliminary results, which he called "very different from the average for Russia", at about 21:05 all territorial election commissions in the Komi Republic were forbidden to enter data in the GAS Vybory. Putin's Constitutional Flip-Flop That Could Extend His Rule Until 2036, he and his entire family had already cast their votes. Article 3 of the 1993 Constitution of Russia says: Высшим непосредственным выражением власти народа являются референдум и свободные выборы. [16] The following month, he repeated his intention to amend the constitution when he addressed the Federal Assembly. on 21 June. The amendments include sweeping changes to the constitution, including allowing Putin to run again for two more six-year presidential terms and enshrining social measures on pensions and welfare state as well as conservative ones such as constitutionally banning same-sex marriage,[8] ensuring patriotic education in schools, explicitly mentioning faith in God, and placing the constitution above international law.