JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Puts His Post-Covid Comeback to a Vote; Buffeted by things he can’t control, Russia’s president turns to a tried and true method for affirming his power” – Bloomberg/ Clara Ferreira Marques

Putin at Desk

“[Putin] has not had a good pandemic. [b]ut … is staging a comeback, with a touch of foreign-policy grandstanding, a dash of military theater and a plebiscite on constitutional reforms that could allow him to stay in power until 2036. The vote will confirm changes already approved by parliament in March[] and … didn’t have to happen now. Even so, the Kremlin pushed ahead and Putin wants citizens to come out in large numbers to back the measures. With Russia still adding new coronavirus cases at a rate of more than 7,000 a day, it’s a scramble that exposes an uncomfortable need for popular affirmation. It[] … comes with some risks: Turnout is harder to predict during an epidemic and some people who respond to massive voting drives may not fall back into political apathy afterward. …”

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