Moscow: The Russian people elected Vladimir Putin as the constitutional President of Russia until 2036.
According to international media reports, today was the last day of a referendum on controversial constitutional amendments to extend the tenure of President of Russia Vladimir Putin till 2036.
Election Commission officials announced Vladimir Putin’s victory just five hours before the vote, saying the Russian president had won a landslide victory and would remain President of Russia till 2036.
Preliminary final and official results released by the Election Commission shows that Vladimir Putin won 77 per cent of the vote.
Russia is due to hold a referendum in April, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the election was not held on time. For the first time in Russia’s history, a deadly Pandemic caused voting to last for a week. The people cast their votes with SOPs and exercised the right to vote for their chosen candidate.
Opposition Parties have Rejected the Result
Opponents of Vladimir Putin have accused him of rigging the polls and pressuring voters, according to the news agency. They said that President Putin had used the state machinery extensively to campaign in his favour, with the aim of achieving the results he wanted and eliminating the opposition altogether.
According to Election Commission officials, the turnout had already exceeded 55% by Wednesday morning, but Kremlin critics and independent observers have questioned official figures, saying that in some regions of Russia the turnout was over 85%.
It should be noted that President Putin, in his address to the nation in January this year, proposed changes to the constitutional amendment, which was rejected by the opposition parties. The government decided to hold a nationwide referendum on the president’s proposal.
Vladimir Putin offered to expand the powers of parliament and divide power among the branches of the Russian government, giving the impression that he wanted to stay in power after completing his presidency in 2024.
Note that, President Putin, who has been in power for two decades, is the second Kremlin leader after Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin to be in power for the longest time in the history of the country.