Russia Reform: Putin voters strongly support - the end result

Elections officials say that 78% of Russian voters support constitutional reforms that could put President Vladimir Putin in power until 2036.

Of all the ballots counted, 77.9% voted against the reform package, while 21.3% voted against the reform package, according to the Election Commission.

These reforms will reduce Mr. Putin's tenure limit to 2024 so that he can serve two and six years.

Opposition figures rejected the vote, saying he was aiming to be "president for life."

There was no independent scrutiny on the seven-day vote, and copies of the new constitution appeared in bookstores during the week.

Officials have made it more difficult to monitor the spread of the vote as there is a risk of coronavirus infection.

Top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny described the results as a "big lie" that did not reflect a true referendum on the country.

Putin, 67, has not said he will run for president again when his latest term ends in 2024 - but says he has the opportunity to do so.

He has been in power in Russia for 20 years as president or prime minister.

Election officials say 65% ​​of the voting was done. In Crimea, in 2014 there was much support from Russia to Ukraine, Chechnya in the North Caucasus, and Tuva in Siberia.

In New York, 816 voted in the Russian Consulate, 505 abstained, and 310 voted. In the remote Arctic, Russia, the second voting district, the majority here is against the Nenets.

Reforms include a ban on same-sex marriage - by defining marriage between man and woman - and introducing Russia's ancestral reference to "faith in God."

The bells were released at the last polling stations, which closed at 18:00 GMT in the western enclave of Kaliningrad, with 11 time zones across the vast country.

Before the end of the polls, there were no breaches affecting Interfax's results, the Interior Ministry said. But independent monitor Golos said he received reports of 2,100 violations.

Hundreds of opponents of the constitutional changes have staged protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The final results showed 65% voting for reforms in Moscow and 77.6% in St. Petersburg.

The Russian president and his supporters say reforms to ensure national stability - more than 200 changes are needed.

Russia's parliament has already approved the changes, but President Putin has ordered a public vote to legalize the reforms. It has been delayed since April due to coronavirus outbreak.

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