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  2. Daily one-person pickets against amendments to the Constitution have been held in the Komi Republic since the beginning of July. Activists have already been reported several times

Daily one-person pickets against amendments to the Constitution have been held in the Komi Republic since the beginning of July. Activists have already been reported several times

Elena Zholobova
Nina Popugaeva
Photo from Telegram-channel «This is Our Square»
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Residents of Syktyvkar have been holding daily one-person pickets in the city center, protesting against the results of voting on amendments to the Constitution, since July 2. The police have already drawn up several protocols against some protesters on violating the procedure for conducting a picket , but this does not stop the activists. Nina Popugaeva, one of the participants of the protest action, told 7x7 about this.

— We started holding pickets against amendments to the Constitution on July 2, because the vote was absolutely rigged, — said the activist. — First, we went to Theater Square, then we found out that the regional law which used to prohibit going [to hold protest actions] to Stefanovskaya [Square] had been edited and does not prohibit this anymore. We stood at Stefanovskaya for three days. On July 4, [Deputy Chief of the Department on Execution of Administrative Legislation of the Ministry of Interior in Syktyvkar Alexander] Patov approached me and another protester — Alyona Zezegova, — brought us notifications to come at 6PM of the next day to give reasons.


On July 5, Nina Popugaeva and Alyona Zezegova were charged with three protocols under Part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (Violation of the Established Procedure for Conducting a Picket by a Participant of a Public Event) each - one protocol for each day of holding the one-person picket.

Director Irina Leontyeva and blogger Valery Ilyinov joined Popugaeva and Zezegova to participate in the one-person pickets regularly. According to activists, they had a break only on July 7–9 due to intense heat. On July 10, pickets resumed at Theater Square. There are from two to four people waiting to hold one-person pickets every day. The posters are different every time. For example, on July 10, the activists held a “literature-style” action, having come out with posters "War is peace"," Ignorance is power", "Freedom is slavery." And on July 11, the picketers suggested their "variants of amendments" to the Code of Administrative Offenses: they partly painted over the text of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code which resulted into "Violation of the new order of Russia" and "Our voices are quieter".


Voting on amendments to the Constitution was held in Russia from June 25 to July 1 — in the midst of coronavirus epidemic. More than 200 amendments have been proposed to the country's framework law including an amendment that "zeroes out" President Vladimir Putin's previous terms and allows him to run for the head of the state’s post for two more terms.

Voting was conducted under lighter rules than regular elections. In particular, numerous field election sites were organized in tents, on benches, in playgrounds and even in the car trunks. Extended voting at home was also practiced.

According to the CEC’s official data, 77.92% of the voters voted for the amendments, 21.27% voted against them. The final turnout, according to the election commission, was 65%.

In the Komi Republic, the answer "no" predominated at the beginning of the vote count. As 6% of the protocols were processed, 31.01% of the voters voted for the amendments and 68.02% voted against them. However, the situation changed to the opposite after processing more than 20% of the protocols. 67.42% of the residents of Komi supported the amendments, while 31.59% voted against them. The CEC explained the dramatic change in the ratio of votes of supporters and opponents of amendments to the Constitution by increasing the number of processed protocols.


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