Putin approves July 1 for constitutional amendments vote

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved July 1 as the date for the constitutional amendments vote, it was reported.

According to the President, ideas were voiced to hold the vote on the same day as the rescheduled Victory Parade on June 24, which he believes was wrong, TASS News Agency reported.

“There were even ideas to hold the vote right on the day of the parade. We should not combine it with anything, it is a separate major milestone… The Victory parade is sacred,” Putin said at a working meeting on Monday.

“Let’s not mix it with anything, and I think we should not try to save money on it (the voting) either, because one of the motives to hold (the vote) on the day of the Victory Parade is to save money as it is also a non-working day,” the President said, adding that there wouldn’t be any saving on the voting.

The President has called for active participation of Russians in the constitutional amendments vote.

“It is not a coincidence that the Constitution is the main law of the country. I expect that Russian citizens will take a very active part in determining the parameters of the main law in the vote on constitutional amendments,” Putin stressed.

In January, Putin suggested to introduce a number of amendments to the basic law.

Following a discussion within the working group, the State Duma (lower house) and the Federation Council (upper house) adopted the final bill on March 11, followed by approval by all regions of Russia.

Putin then signed an order, scheduling the nationwide vote on the amendments for April 22, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The amendments will enter force only if approved in the nationwide vote, reports TASS News Agency.

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

It 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.