A total of 77.92 percent of Russians have backed the 206 amendments to the country’s constitution in a referendum, while 21.27 percent have voted against them, data released by the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) showed Thursday.
Under the updated constitution, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be allowed to participate in the 2024 presidential race, while more power will be given to the parliament. The State Duma, the lower parliament house, will be able to veto the president’s appointment of prime minister, while the Federation Council, the upper parliament house, will be able to refuse approval of the president’s appointments of prosecutor general, as well as their deputies and regional prosecutors. One of the amendments establishes the priority of the Russian constitution over international law, while another declares the inalienability of Russian territory. The new constitution guarantees that the minimum wage will be no lower than the subsistence minimum of the able-bodied population, and that pensions will increase regularly.
The turnout rate in the referendum held between June 25 and July 1 was nearly 68 percent, CEC head Ella Pamfilova said at a briefing on Thursday after the counting of the ballots was completed. She said the results will be officially confirmed on Friday, but the CEC has known no case that could influence the outcome of the vote. The results demonstrated society’s support for the country’s development course proposed by President Putin, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at a government meeting Thursday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that it was a “triumphal” referendum on public trust in Putin. “Now the Russians have backed all the initiatives to amend the constitution. This will certainly become the foundation for a better future for the country,” he said.