Moscow: A majority of Russians have voted to approve amendments to the country’s constitution which would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036.
Partial results, announced five hours before polls closed, indicate the former KGB officer who has ruled Russia for more than two decades as president or prime minister will win the right to run for two more terms.
That means he could remain president for 16 more years.
Russia went to polls on Wednesday to cast vote in a countrywide referendum on constitutional amendments. With this win Putin will continue to remain president till 2036. Election officials said that with 98% of all precincts counted, nearly 78% had voted for the constitutional amendments.
The turnout for the vote on amendments to the Russian Constitution reached to 64.99 per cent by 5 pm (local time), Sputnik reported while stating data published by the Central Election Commission. The turnout includes the votes cast from June 25 until polls close at 8 pm (local time).
The vote seeks to introduce amendments to Russia’s 1993 Constitution, which will include protecting the institution of marriage, setting children as a priority of Russia’s domestic policy and an obligation to support and protect Russia’s culture.
Russians were also encouraged to vote with prize draws offering flats and an ad campaign highlighting other constitutional amendments to be made in the same bundle, including pensions protection and a ban on same-sex marriages.