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  Thursday, July 18, 2019
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The majority of survey respondents did not approve of Vladimir Putin's plan to reform the electoral system
The Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM) issued opinion survey results yesterday. The majority of survey respondents did not approve of Vladimir Putin's plan to reform the electoral system. Asked whether gubernatorial elections have to be abolished and governors elected by local legislatures among president-nominated candidatures to ensure the country's unity, 50% of respondents answered in the negative. Nineteen per cent of them are absolutely opposed to the president's initiative, while over 29% are more opposed than not. Thirty-nine per cent of those surveyed supported the initiative. However, 16% of them utterly approve of the idea, while 22.9% only tend to approve it. More than 13% of respondents found it difficult to answer the question. However, VTsIOM believes the authorities do not have to worry about the initiative's future. "A large percentage of respondents found it difficult to answer the question. This indicates a split in society over the initiative, rather society's disapproval of it," Dmitry Polikanov, in charge of international and public relations at VTsIOM, told Vremya Novostei. "People do not want to lose their abstract right to elect and thereby have some influence on authorities," said the expert. "The authorities will try to explain to the nation that they are wrong, believes Stanislav Belkovsky, President of the Institute of National Strategy. However, they will carry out the initiative and go even further. I believe appointing city mayors may be the next step after regional mergers." However, the results show that Russians believed the president that the procedure of appointing governors would help fight terrorism. Nearly 45% of respondents answered in the positive to the question whether the president-sponsored measures to consolidate power would help Russia in its war on terror. About 29% of those surveyed replied in the negative.
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