Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister of Russia and the whole Russian government, has resigned after President Vladimir Putin recommended a constitutional reform that would allow him to stay in power indefinitely.
Speaking in his annual address to parliament on Wednesday, Putin suggested a referendum on modifying Russia’s constitution to improve the powers of parliament while retaining a strong presidential system.
“I consider it necessary to conduct a vote by the country’s citizens on an entire package of proposed amendments to the country’s constitution,” Putin said.
He also proposed an amendment of the constitution to allow legislators to name prime ministers and cabinet members.
“It will increase the role of parliament and parliamentary parties, powers and independence of the prime minister and all cabinet members,” Putin said.
“We will be able to build a strong prosperous Russia only on the basis of respect for public opinion.
“Together we will certainly change life for the better. Russia must remain a strong presidential republic.”
After President Putin made his plans known, his whole government comprising the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev submitted their resignation to him.
Hours after the government withdrew, Putin named federal tax chief Mikhail Mishustin, 53 years old and a relatively unknown technocrat, as the new prime minister.
According to RIA news agency, Mishustin will face a vote of clearance in the lower house of government on Thursday.