#AceHealthReport – Mar.26: He said the public vote – previously due to be held on 22 April – would be delayed until a “later date” The proposed changes include scrapping a ban on allowing Mr Putin to run for office again…………….The changes have already been approved by parliament and Russia’s constitutional court………..They would give Mr Putin – who is serving his fourth presidential term and has dominated Russian politics for two decades – the right to serve two more consecutive terms:
#Coronavirus delays Russian vote on Putin staying in power RIA Novosti reports
Later on Wednesday Russia confirmed the deaths of two people who had been diagnosed with the virus: The 88- and 73-year-olds had pre-existing conditions, Ria Novosti reported:
Russia has a total of 658 cases: “The absolute priority for us is the health, life and safety of people. Therefore I believe that the vote should be postponed until a later date,” Mr Putin said……………Mr Putin also announced that Russians would not work next week “to slow the speed” of the infection: But he warned that it was impossible to prevent any spread of the virus at all in Russia because of the country’s size…………….This is Vladimir Putin bowing, finally, to the inevitable.
Holding a nationwide vote in a pandemic had always seemed bad politics, at the very least: Opposition leader Alexei Navalny had even called it “criminal”, especially as Russia’s most faithful voters are pensioners and among the most vulnerable to the virus: Mr Putin had seemed to be delaying the decision, though, hoping Russia would somehow escape the worst of Covid-19.
Some suspected the statistics were being massaged to make it seem that way, a claim officials here have denied repeatedly: But the number of confirmed cases is now climbing in Russia, like everywhere else.
Russia’s president promised this was a postponement, not a cancellation: While critics call the vote a crude way of ensuring Mr Putin remains in power, the Kremlin is keen the process should look legitimate, the people’s choice: The delay, though, does mean officials across the country can finally focus on the clear priority – battling a pandemic, not securing a vote for Mr Putin………………The Russian economy was also under serious pressure because of the virus, Mr Putin said………During their week off, employees would continue to be paid and key services would continue, he said……………He also announced extended welfare support, including for families with children and those who had lost jobs.
#AceNewsDesk report ……………..Published: Mar.26: 2020:
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