Russia votes – from car trunks, dump trucks and tree stumps. Putin’s move for eternal power. Photo, video
A rather particular – or, in the opinion of many, outrageous – vote on constitutional changes is taking place in Russia.
The amendments, presented as an entire package, will allow Putin to remain in power for another two terms, enshrine the special status of the Russian people, and are being voted on in the most curious of locations: out of supermarket trolleys, the backs of cars and other select choices.
Citizens can only vote yes or no to the entire package – they cannot vote for individual amendments.
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One week was allotted for the referendum, with July 1, 2020, being the last day.
A total of 269 constitutional amendments are proposed. The following would-be amendments have attracted much attention and scandal:
• The Russian people are “state-forming”, therefore the Russian language receives a special status.
• Marriage to be defined as a union between a man and a woman.
• The concept of God is introduced into the basic law of the country in the terminology: “The memory of ancestors bequeathed to us by God.”
But the main event amendment is a ‘reset’ of all previous presidential terms and permission for everyone to run for president as for the first time.
This means that incumbent President Vladimir Putin, who has been in power for more than 20 years, will be able to be elected two more times and remain in this post until 2036.
Russian citizens must vote yes or no to the entire package regarding all 269 amendments. Although the amendments relate to completely different areas of society, from the political system to the regulation of personal relations.
Voting is taking place in the absence of journalists and independent observers.
An amazing form of voting – you can several times
Authorities report that 75 percent have voted.
Signatures can be placed anywhere on ballots, which looks extremely unusual.
You can vote in person, online or by mail.
One’s passport can be shown from a distance of 2 meters for identification purposes.
Dozhd TV journalist Pavel Lobkov said on his Facebook that in the end he successfully voted twice: first he went to the polling station and then an hour and a half later from his home computer.
The same experiment was carried out by the expert of the Voice movement Vasily Vaysenberg.
So far, the only reaction of the authorities has been that a case has been brought against the journalist, he faces a fine.
There are already thousands of posts about particular polling stations on social media.
Out of supermarket carriages
On a stump in a village
Out of car trunks
Дорогие все. Официальное заявление. Я прекращаю критиковать “общероссийское голосование”, потому что ничего убедительнее этой съемки я сказать не могу.— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) June 25, 2020
Это Владивосток. “Избирательный участок” организован в багажнике машины во дворе. Источник: https://t.co/El8UvZBWw8 pic.twitter.com/6x76Y3ab1V
In a bus
By apartment complex entrances
Because of the pandemic, journalists and observers have not been allowed near voting stations. Fears of the coronavirus spreading have also been used to justify the particular locations of the stations.