As expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin has won a significant victory in the referendum on reforming the constitution.
After counting the votes, Russian media reports that 77.9 percent of the voters support the proposals.
The victory allows Putin (67) to remain in power until 2036. He may then participate twice in the presidential election.
His current term of office ends in 2024, and he can serve two more six-year terms after that.
“Such a high turnout and so much support are difficult to predict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a conference call with journalists. “This is a basis for a better future for the country.”
The former KGB spy has been the longest-serving leader since dictator Jozef Stalin. The referendum comes at a sensitive time.
The corona crisis has hard hit Russia and the proportion of Russians who are positive about Putin has fallen to 60 percent, according to an independent sounding agency.