By: Staff Reporter

President Vladimir Putin announced yesterday that the nationwide vote on the amendment that could potentially pave the way for him to retain power in Russia until 2036, will be held on July 1, 2020. The vote was previously postponed amid fears about Covid-19.

The announcement was made on a virtual meeting of the Central Election Commission. According to Russian state media, Putin signed a decree that on July 1st, all Russians will vote on the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Putin said “I decide to determine July 1, 2020 as the date of the all-Russian vote on the approval of amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation <…>, taking into account the evolving sanitary and epidemiological situation and the need to ensure the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population in connection with the spread of a new coronavirus infection ” 

When the announcement was originally made in January of this year, the entire Russian government resigned. At the time Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Putin “outlined a number of fundamental changes to the constitution, significant changes not only to a number of articles of the constitution, but also to the balance of power as a whole,” In this context, it’s obvious that we, as the government … should provide the president of our country with the opportunity to make all the decisions necessary for this. And in these conditions, I believe that it would be right, in accordance with Section 117 of the constitution,”

According to the Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is both the head of state, and of a multi-party system with executive power exercised by the government, including the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President with the parliament’s approval.