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Vote to extend Putin's power peaks as Russians receive cash payments

© Reuters. Russian President Putin visits a polling station throughout a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms in Moscow


By Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russians with youngsters on Wednesday acquired money funds on the final day of a vote on constitutional modifications that would enable Vladimir Putin to remain in energy till 2036.

State exit polls urged the modifications can be supported by greater than two-thirds of voters, who have been inspired to vote with house tons and an promoting marketing campaign highlighting different supposed amendments to please the folks.

An modification ensures pensions listed to inflation; one other says that marriage is a union between a person and a girl.

One-time funds of 10,000 rubles ($ 141) have been distributed to folks with youngsters on Putin's orders as folks headed to polling stations on the final polling day, held for seven days in an try and restrict the unfold of latest coronavirus.

"I voted for the constitutional amendments," stated Mikhail Volkov, a resident of Moscow. "We want radical modifications and I’m for them."

Others voted for the modifications with much less enthusiasm.

"I haven't learn the amendments if I'm sincere," stated one other voter, Lyudmila. "What’s the level of voting if they’ve already determined for you. It’s like that in our nation – learn one thing and vote. I’ve voted."

Putin, a 67-year-old former KGB officer who dominated Russia for greater than twenty years as president or prime minister, made no point out of how the modifications may have an effect on his personal profession in a speech on the eve of the vote on Tuesday.

The amendments would enable him to run for 2 extra consecutive six-year phrases if he needs after his present time period expires in 2024.

Putin stated he had not but selected his future. Critics say they’re certain he’ll present up once more, however some analysts say he might wish to maintain his choices open to keep away from turning into a lame duck.

At 60%, in response to pollster Levada, its approval fee stays excessive however effectively under its peak of just about 90%.

With Russia reporting 1000’s of latest COVID-19 circumstances on daily basis, opponents have been unable to arrange protests however laughed at on-line voting, sharing photographs of the polling stations within the cages of stairs of residences, courtyards and the trunk of a automobile.

The Communist Opposition Get together, which suggested supporters to vote "no" to the modifications, complained of irregularities in two polling stations in Moscow, the place it stated the variety of folks registered to vote at house was 10 occasions greater than regular.

Investigators stated Tuesday they’re investigating a journalist's allegations that he was attacked by two law enforcement officials at a polling station.

Putin stated he wished a clear vote, which election officers are dedicated to delivering.

Golos, a non-governmental group that screens the elections, stated it was already clear that it could not have the ability to affirm the results of the vote as official.

($ 1 = 70.9075 rubles)

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