Petrov: No one was really counting results seriously and it was just up to the Kremlin on how to report this as a triumphant victory

PONARS Eurasia
05 Jul 2020

(Newsweek) An election expert in Russia has cried foul over the vote on constitutional amendments which may cement President Vladimir Putin's hold on power until 2036.

The ballot which ended on Wednesday, saw nearly 78 percent of voters back the amendments to update the Russian Constitution which had been passed in 1993. [...]

Nikolai Petrov, a senior research fellow at the London-based think tank Chatham House, said one of the Kremlin's main goals with the vote was to avoid any serious public scandal. The fact that it was not deemed a referendum, which would have stricter management criteria, rendered it a "soft procedure," he said.

"No one was really counting results seriously and it was just up to the Kremlin on how to report this as a triumphant victory," Petrov told Newsweek. [...]

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