Kremlin instructs regional governments to create festive atmosphere during voting on constitutional amendments

The Russian regions have been instructed to create a “festive atmosphere” in order to increase turnout on the day the population votes on Putin’s proposed constitutional reforms, RBC news agency reports, citing two participants of a seminar for vice governors dedicated to voting. The seminar was conducted by the Presidential Administration between February 13 and 15.

According to RBC’s sources, the seminar did not give any concrete guidelines, because “everyone knows what needs to be done”. “It could be organizing buffets at voting areas, or different cultural events,” they remarked.

The presidential administration is reportedly hoping for a voter turnout of at least 60%.

“They said that they are facing a challenge similar to presidential elections. Overall, the main message was: Voting is important, the time to prepare is short, and there is a lot to do,” one source noted.

During the annual state-of-the-nation address on January 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a number of far-reaching changes to the constitution. The bill was passed by the State Duma on January 23 on the first reading.

Alongside the presidential amendments approved in the first reading, members of the relevant work group have been reporting new initiatives on an almost daily basis. According to them, nearly 300 suggestions have been put forward, although a full list of them has not been published anywhere.

  Kremlin, Russia, Putin