31 Jan 2020 12:30

Russia divided over goals of constitutional reform - Levada Center

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) - The number of Russians who view the pending constitutional amendments as Vladimir Putin's way of securing his stay in power is practically equal to the number of those who see them as an attempt to improve public governance, the Levada Analytical Center said in a statement seen by Interfax.

Forty-seven percent of the respondents polled by Levada said that the constitutional amendments were aimed at improving the public governance system for the benefit of most residents, and the same percentage argued that the amendments served the interests of the incumbent president, who wished to broaden his power and to stay in office after 2024.

Nearly a third of respondents said that constitutional provisions played an insignificant role because few in Russia take them into consideration.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents argued that the Constitution guaranteed civil rights and freedoms, and 24% said that the Constitution streamlined the country's life. Fifteen percent described the Constitution as a presidential tool of control over the State Duma, the statement said.

As for Russians' awareness of the presidential constitutional amendments, an overwhelming majority of the respondents (80%) claimed to have a full or partial knowledge, while 20% said they had not heard about them.