Putin's ploy to extend rule backed by Russians: live updates



  • Russian voters have overwhelmingly backed a ploy by President Vladimir Putin to rule until 2036 in a referendum with little doubt about the outcome, according to preliminary results.
  • A raft of constitutional amendments designed to appeal to conservative voters -- including a ban on gay marriage -- were also on the ballot.
  • The process was marred by reports of election tampering and irregularities since voting opened last week -- a precaution to allow social distancing, officials said.
  • Original plans for the referendum on April 22 were put on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has roiled Russia.

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