1 Jun 2020 19:49

Vote on constitutional amendments to take place on July 1 - Putin

MOSCOW. June 1 (Interfax) - The nationwide vote on constitutional amendments will take place in a month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We will hold the nationwide vote on the adoption of amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation on July 1, 2020," Putin said at a meeting with members of the working group on constitutional amendments.

He instructed head of the Russian Federal Service for Health and Consumer Rights (Rospotrebnadzor) Anna Popova and Central Elections Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova to pay special attention to ensuring safety during it.

"Our colleagues just talked about this. Hopefully, all measures will be implemented in practice," Putin said.

He also requested that regional heads facilitate the organization of the vote based on the necessity of concern for people's health and lives.

"It certainly remains the first and most important priority," Putin said.

The president addressed Russians, calling on them to take an active part in the vote. It deals with the Constitution, which is the basis of the country's life today and will determine the main legal safeguards, judicial guarantees of social relations, labor relations, determine the principles of interaction with international partners, he said.

"I'm really counting on Russian citizens' most active participation in defining the parameters of the fundamental law, in the vote on constitutional amendments," Putin said.

Putin proposed a number of important constitutional amendments in his address to the Federal Assembly on January 15, 2020. In particular, the president put forward an initiative banning senior state officials from holding foreign citizenship, enhancing the role of parliament, governors, and the State Council, and suggested entrenching the provisions that the Constitution holds supremacy in Russia's legal space, that the minimum wage must not be lower than the subsistence wage of the employable population, and that pensions must be indexed annually.

The State Duma passed the amendments and added an amendment on resetting the presidential terms to the bill by the second reading. The Federation Council endorsed the amendments. The president signed the bill into law.

On March 16, the Russian Constitutional Court deemed the constitutional amendments lawful, including the amendment resetting the number of presidential terms and enabling Putin to run in the next election.

In accordance with Putin's suggestion, the amendments will enter into effect only after they are endorsed in a nationwide vote, a special procedure that has no prior analogues in Russia.

The nationwide vote on constitutional amendments was initially scheduled for April 22, but it was postponed indefinitely due to the situation surrounding coronavirus.