June 25, 2020 / 12:41 PM / 17 days ago

Factbox: Russians vote on constitutional reforms that could extend Putin's rule

(Reuters) - Russians are taking part in a nationwide vote from June 25 until July 1 that will endorse or reject changes to the constitution, including one that would allow Vladimir Putin to run for president again twice. [L8N2E226A]

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a ceremony in Sevastopol, Crimea March 18, 2020. Alexander Nemenov/Pool via REUTERS

The bundle of changes, which include many other amendments to the 1993 constitution that was adopted after the break-up of the Soviet Union, are being put to a simple yes-or-no vote.

Here are some of the most significant and widely-discussed amendments contained in the bundle.

TWO MORE TERMS FOR PUTIN

One of the main reforms would allow Vladimir Putin to run for the presidency again in 2024 and, if re-elected, serve two more consecutive six-year terms in the Kremlin until 2036.

Putin, 67, is due now to step down at the end of his current stint, which is his second consecutive term and fourth overall since he came to power more than two decades ago.

IMMUNITY FOR FORMER PRESIDENTS

Former Russian presidents would be automatically granted immunity from criminal prosecution when they leave power.

SOVEREIGNTY OVER INTERNATIONAL LAW

Russia would be able to ignore international court rulings deemed to contravene the text of its new constitution.

GOD AND THE USSR

The constitution’s new version would enshrine a reference in it to “belief in God” and define Russia as the legal successor to the Soviet Union.

MAN AND WOMAN

One reform would specifically define the institute of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

ANTI-CORRUPTION

Senior Russian officials would be prohibited from holding bank accounts outside Russia or from having foreign citizenship.

PENSIONS AND WAGES

Under the new constitution, the state would have to guarantee a minimum wage higher than the official subsistence level and regularly adjust pensions in line with inflation.

PROTECT RUSSIAN LAND

One amendment would make it illegal for Russia to give away any of its territory to a foreign power.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Timothy Heritage

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