Exit polls showed that Russians voted overwhelmingly to pass the package of amendments to the constitution on July 1st. Here is an excerpt from a report from RT‘s Bryan MacDonald:
The main takeaway from Russia’s ‘national vote’ on a series of amendments to the constitution is one a lot of people won’t want to hear: Most Russians want the country to plow its own furrow, regardless of what outsiders think.
In the end, the margin was huge. Exit polls suggested around 70 percent of voters had said ‘yes’ to 206 amendments to their constitution, with close to 30 percent rejecting the changes. Official results eventually put the ‘yes’ vote at over 77 percent.
Even liberal political organizers in Moscow conceded their own exit polls showed support in the capital for Vladimir Putin’s proposals. What’s more, those tallies revealed a majority of voters in numerous Moscow districts usually favorable to the opposition had backed the winning side.
One thing forgotten in almost all Western speculation about the process (erroneously labeled a ‘referendum’ by some US/UK pundits) was that it wasn’t strictly necessary at all. The backing Putin obtained in spring from the Duma (parliament), the Constitutional Court, and all 85 federal subjects technically sufficed. However, the president decided to stage a ‘confirmatory plebiscite’ to obtain broad public legitimacy. Thus, the vote itself was mostly about establishing whether Putin still has a popular mandate to uphold his domination of Russian politics.
Read the full article here.