Early results show approval for letting Putin’s rule to 2036

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian voters are overwhelmingly approving constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to run for another two terms and potentially extend his rule until 2036, according to early referendum results. The Central Elections Commission said that with 15% of precincts counted, the amendments package got the approval of 71 % of voters. Those results were announced Wednesday night before the last polling places in the country closed, reflecting both early voting that took place for the past week and the time difference between Moscow and Russia’s distant eastern regions. The balloting was tarnished by reports of pressure on voters, other irregularities and concern that the early voting could not be monitored properly.