Tags: Russia | kremlin | putin state department

State Dept. Blasts Putin's Power Grab

state department building is seen
(AP)

By Wednesday, 08 July 2020 12:33 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The Kremlin announced last week that 78% of Russian voters supported changing their Constitution to permit Vladimir Putin to remain as president of the Russian Federation until 2036.

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said what anti-Putin dissidents have been charging for some time: that, with no observers allowed,  the vote in all likelihood was rigged, packed, and manipulated.

“We are troubled by reports of Russian government efforts to manipulate the result of the recent votes on constitutional amendments,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortegus told reporters, citing “reports of voter coercion, pressure on opponents of the amendments, and restrictions of independent observers of the vote.”  

She added that the vote “follows a pattern in Russia of the stifling of voices critical of the government, restrictions on fundamental freedoms, and the creation of an uneven playing field when it comes to voting and elections.”

Regarding the amendment that would potentially allow President Putin to remain in power until 2036, Ortegus said that “around the world, as a matter of principle, the United States opposes constitutional amendments that favor incumbents or extend their terms in office, particularly in contexts where necessary conditions for free and fair democratic processes are lacking.”

Rather, she said “the United States supports constitutional frameworks and electoral environments that enable the fair competition of ideas and candidates; periodic, competitive elections; and peaceful, democratic transitions of power”

Ortegus also denounced voting in territories seized from Ukraine by Russia in 2014.

“We are also deeply disturbed by reports that Russian authorities are attempting to conduct ‘voting’ on Ukrainian territory in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea, further underlining Russia’s flagrant disregard for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of its neighbor,” she said. 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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The Kremlin announced last week that 78% of Russian voters supported changing their Constitution to permit Vladimir Putin to remain as president of the Russian Federation until 2036.
kremlin, putin state department
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2020-33-08
Wednesday, 08 July 2020 12:33 PM
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