Russians set to back reforms allowing Putin to extend rule

Russian President Vladimir Putin. PHOTO | FILE | AFP

What you need to know:

  • The changes were passed weeks ago by Russia's parliament and copies of the new constitution are already on sale.
  • There is little doubt the reforms -- which include patriotic and populist measures like guaranteed minimum pensions and an effective ban on gay marriage -- will be approved.
  • A state-run exit poll of more than 163,000 voters this week showed 76 percent in favour.

Russians are set to approve constitutional reforms on Wednesday denounced by critics as a manoeuvre to allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in the Kremlin for life.

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