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Russia constitutional amendments vote begin

Moscow: Voting on amendments to the Russian constitution began on Thursday in all the 14 administrative regions of Russias Far Eastern federal district.

In Yakutia, polling stations opened at 10 a.m. The region has 816 polling stations in total, including 25 temporary ones, set up at remote mining facilities, military garrisons and meteorological stations, reports TASS News Agency.

The vote in Buryatia began at 8 a.m., while the Trans-Baikal Region and the Amur region launched the process an hour earlier.

Russia's easternmost regions of Kamchatka and Chukotka were the first to begin the vote, which will be held over a seven-day period across the country ending on July 1.

On March 11, the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) approved the final reading of the constitutional amendments bill proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On the same day, it was approved by the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) and Russia's regional parliaments.

The text of the bill was published on the official legal information portal.

After the Constitutional Court's ruling, which states that the bill does not violate the Constitution, a public vote will be held. If over 50 per cent of the Russian public approve of the changes, the bill will enter into force, reports TASS News Agency.

The vote was initially set to take place on April 22, however, Putin chose to postpone it due to the situation with the spread of the novel coronavirus in Russia.

During a working session earlier, Putin approved July 1 as the new date for the vote.

The document proposes to expand the powers of Parliament and the Constitutional Court, a fixed number of presidential terms, as well as the prevalence of the Russian Constitution over international agreements.

The document also expands the government's obligations in the social sphere.

The amendments to the Constitution stipulate that the Russian head of state can only serve two terms, however, one of the amendments proposes that the current president can be re-elected if the new version of the Constitution comes into force.

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TAGS:russia constitutional putin 
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