By Tony Winterburn • 02 July 2020 • 9:36
RUSSIANS opened the door to Vladimir Putin staying in power until 2036 by voting overwhelmingly for constitutional changes that will allow him to run again for president twice, in theory meaning Mr Putin, 67, could rule until the ripe old age of 83!
Official results showed that the former KGB officer who has ruled Russia for more than two decades as president or prime minister had easily won the right to run for two more six-year terms.
Ella Pamfilova, head of the commission, said the vote had been transparent and that officials had done everything to ensure its integrity, however, critics said the outcome was falsified on an industrial scale.
Opposition politician Alexei Navalny had a different view though and called the vote an illegitimate and illegal show designed to legalise Putin’s presidency for life.
Navalny said the opposition would not protest for now because of the novel coronavirus pandemic but would do so in big numbers in the autumn if its candidates were blocked from taking part in regional elections or their results were falsified.
“What Putin fears most is the street,” said Navalny. “He will not leave until we start to take to the streets in the hundreds of thousands and in the millions.”
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