Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin has declared that there will be a nationwide vote on July 1 on reforms which was delayed previously due to the coronavirus outbreak. These reforms have already been approved by Russia’s constitutional court and its parliament and if passed, will reset Putin’s total presidential term RUSSIA to 0, allowing him to serve 2 more 6-year terms till 2036 if he is re-elected. The nationwide vote was supposed to happen on April 22 but was postponed due to the coronavirus with Putin stating that the health and safety of the citizens was the top priority of the Government.

Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB officer who began his political career in 1991. He was appointed the prime minister in august 1999 and then became the acting president on December 31 of the same year because the reigning president Yeltsin suddenly resigned. He later was appointed as the official RUSSIA President with his first term ending in 2004. He was then again re-elected for another term and served the President of Russia till 2008. He was barred from serving a third consecutive term due to Russian Constitution but was somehow appointed the Prime minister of Russia right after he gave the position to his successor Dmitri Medvedev. In 2012, he was elected as the president again marking the start of his third term and then he was re-elected in the 2018 elections, his current term ends in 2024.

During his first two terms, Russia’s GDP increased for 8 straight years by a massive 72%. He maintained his political dominance between 2008-2012 by being appointed as the prime minister and has won his later terms with a massive margin of 64% votes in the 2012 elections and 76% in the 2018 elections. Today, no one really considers Russia to be a democracy, Putin has been accused of jailing political opponents, suppressing protests, keeping a tight hold on the press, and cheating in elections. Russia’s lack of free and fair elections can easily be seen through Putin’s political dominance in the country for over 20 years. RUSSIA The unexpected resignation of Yeltsin right after Putin was appointed Prime minister, being appointed as RUSSIA the prime minister right after he is barred from another term, being re-elected again and again with a massive popularity of over 70% does show that Putin is into some very shady activities. Now, he has introduced reforms that allow him to extend his rule till 2036 by bypassing the maximum 2 consecutive terms rule. Critics believe the vote is rigged and urge voters to either reject the proposed changes or stay away. Many critics have criticized Putin over having the vote right now when everyone should be wary of the coronavirus arguing that he is letting people get infected by the coronavirus so that he could be in power. Though his approval rating has reached an all-time low as people aren’t happy due to Russia’s economy being severely hit due to the coronavirus, it is still pretty high and the support for his constitutional changes has risen to 47%.

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