Russian President Vladimir Putin has been forced to postpone a vote on constitutional change that would allow him to stay in power over concerns of coronavirus.
The public vote which was expected to be held on April 22 this year would be delayed until further notice.
The constitutional change which has already been approved by parliament and Russia’s constitutional court, would if successful, among other things scrap a ban on allowing Mr Putin to run for office again.
It would pave way for President Putin, who is serving his fourth presidential term the right to serve two more consecutive terms.
Russia has confirmed the deaths of two people who had been diagnosed with the virus. The 88- and 73-year-olds had pre-existing conditions, Ria Novosti reported. Russia has a total of 658 cases.
“The absolute priority for us is the health, life and safety of people. Therefore I believe that the vote should be postponed until a later date,” Mr Putin said.