Daily Memo: Russian Constitutional Reforms, Korean Compromises

A strong majority of Russians voted in favor of constitutional amendments that could extend Putin's time in office.

Russian reforms. In a seven-day referendum that ended on Wednesday, 77.9 percent of Russians voted to approve more than 200 amendments to the constitution, one of which would allow President Vladimir Putin to run for reelection in 2024. According to Russian daily Kommersant, the turnout was 68 percent, more than 10 percentage points higher than the turnout for the 1993 constitution. The highest turnout and vote of approval were in Chechnya, where 97.9 percent of voters were in favor of the changes and 95.1 percent of people cast a ballot. The regions of Tuva (96.8 percent approval), Crimea (90.1 percent), Dagestan (89.2 percent) and the Yamalo-Nenets District (89.2 percent) had the next highest levels of support. The Nenets Autonomous Region was the only region where the majority of Russians voted against the amendments (55.3 percent). Yakutia (40.7 percent disapproval) and Kamchatka (37.2 percent) regions also had high votes against the reforms. On the last day of the vote, uncoordinated protests against the changes took place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Blagoveshchensk, Khanty-Mansiysk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk and other cities. The demonstrations were fairly small, however; the biggest was in Moscow with 400 participants. Korean compromises. South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants U.S. […]

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