Putin moves to shore up power, as PM Medvedev resigns

Putin moves to shore up power, as PM Medvedev resigns

Agency News

Moscow 16 Jan 2020: In order to wield political power after his presidency ends, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed constitutional changes in which Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has lost his power.

Dmitry Medvedev’s exit came as an unexpected resignation. The changes laid out by Mr. Putin on Wednesday would limit the power of a potential successor after 2024.

As head of an empowered State Council, Mr. Putin could remain in control and guide policy after his presidential term expires.

Mr. Medvedev’s resignation represents the biggest shake-up in the Russian government in nearly a decade.

It is learnt that Putin has tried to project an image of stability despite a worsening economy. Mr. Putin, in his annual State of the Union address on Wednesday, said the proposed changes to Russia’s constitution would be put to a vote, “given that they reflect fundamental changes to the political system.” The vote could take place before the summer, Russian news agencies reported, citing an unnamed official.

Mr. Putin, 67 years old, is looking for ways to remain influential in Russia. Mr. Putin proposed that Mikhail Mishustin, a relatively unknown technocrat who has worked as head of Russia’s tax service since 2010, become the next prime minister, according to state news agencies. The Russian state Duma, or lower house of parliament, is set to consider his candidacy on Thursday.

Mr. Medvedev, whose cabinet also resigned, will stay on as prime minister until a new government is formed, Mr. Putin said on state television.

He said Mr. Medvedev would be offered a newly created post of deputy chairman of Russia’s security council—a relatively minor role.