Russia’s constitutional reform approved

(VOVWORLD) - President Vladimir Putin’s proposed constitutional amendments were overwhelmingly approved by Russian voters in a national referendum which ended on Wednesday. The result shows widespread support for President Putin and a belief that the constitutional reform will bring positive changes in the next decades.

Russia’s constitutional reform approved - ảnh 1 Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a televised speech in the Tver region on June 30, 2020. (Photo: AFP / TTXVN)

Since the current Constitution was adopted in 1993, it has been amended 3 times. This time saw the biggest revision, covering politics, state affairs, institutions, a clearer power division among branches of government, and greater protection of people’s interests.

Reforms create foundation for development

60% of the 1993 Constitution has been revised this time. 41 articles have been amended and 5 articles added. The new Constitution transfers some rights from the President to the Federal Assembly and the government, and creates a more democratic and balanced legislative system. Russia will also have a stronger legislature, empowered to appoint top leaders of  the executive branch instead of just approving the President's appointments. The political system that has existed for more than a quarter of a century in Russia will be changed significantly.

The revised constitution does not allow government officials to have dual nationality or to live permanently in Russia and bans them from opening accounts at foreign banks. The amendments are intended to tie the life and career of high-ranking officials to Russia.

The revisions give more attention to social security, family values, employment, and healthcare for citizens. These values are not new but are more clearly stated in the Constitution. President Putin said on Tuesday that the amendments underscore the basic values of the Russian people, who have voted not only for constitutional reform but also for modern education and healthcare, a strong social security system, and effective and responsible government.

Russia’s constitutional reform approved - ảnh 2

People vote early on the proposed constitutional reform at a polling station in Vladivostok, Russia, June 25, 2020. (Photo: AFP / TTXVN)

Honoring people’s trust

The 78% of Russian voters who supported the proposed reforms have shown their confidence in the incumbent President. As soon as the results were announced, President Putin assured the public that the government will do everything it can to justify the voters' trust.

Since Putin came to power in 2000, Russia has undergone a dramatic transformation in economic, social affairs, and external affairs. Russia's GDP tripled between 2000 and 2017. President Putin is credited with lowering Russia's inflation rate from double digits to 2.5% in 2017 and causing foreign debts to plummet. Russia's status has risen.

Before the referendum, President Putin said that stability, security, welfare, and a good life for the people could only be guaranteed through Constitutional amendments. The majority of voters have said they trust the President to guide the building of a stronger Russia.

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