Home SOCIETY GIST INTERNATIONAL NEWS RUSSIA’S PM QUITS AFTER PRESIDENT PUTIN MOVED TO CHANGE CONSTITUTION AND LIMIT THE POWER OF HIS SUCCESSOR

RUSSIA’S PM QUITS AFTER PRESIDENT PUTIN MOVED TO CHANGE CONSTITUTION AND LIMIT THE POWER OF HIS SUCCESSOR

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The Russian prime minister, Dmitri Medvedev, has made known his decision to resign after President Vladimir Putin proposed changes to Russia’s constitution that would limit the power of a potential successor if he steps down in 2024.

Putin indicated he may occupy a beefed-up role as Russia’s prime minister or in the government’s state council.

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Medvedev who announced his intention to step down said that Russia’s government would resign in full, allowing Putin to appoint new ministers as he embarks on a sweeping reshuffle of Russia’s leadership.

In a televised speech before senior officials, Putin suggested amending Russia’s constitution to limit a future president to two terms in office – he has served four – tightening residency requirements for presidential candidates, and letting parliament choose candidates for prime minister and the cabinet, in effect weakening the presidency.

Medvedev’s move would allow Putin to appoint a new prime minister, potentially signalling whom he favours as a potential successor as president.

It is not clear when the new prime minister will be named, and Putin has asked the current government to stay on until new ministers have been chosen.

Putin presented his amendments to the constitution as a significant change to Russia’s governing document, and called for the first nationwide referendum since 1993 to confirm them. An elections official said within an hour of Putin’s speech that a referendum could be prepared as soon as the proposals to amend the constitution were formalised.

Margarita Simonyan, the head of the RT television station, wrote that “effectively, power in Russia is moving to the legislative branch”. Less credulous observers saw an attempt by Putin to lay the groundwork for a transition of power in 2024, when he should, under the constitution, step down from the presidency after serving two terms back-to-back as Russia’s head of state.

“The main result of Putin’s speech: what idiots (and/or crooks) are all those who said that Putin would leave in 2024,” wrote Alexei Navalny, a vocal leader of Russia’s opposition.

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