Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has made a shock and dramatic announcement that he and the entire Russian government is resigning in a statement just after President Vladimir Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address, state media outlets report. The ruble slipped about 0.5% on the news.
Despite what appears a drastic shake-up afoot, Reuters suggests it’s part of a plan that could result in Putin extending his power despite a constitutional ban currently in effect preventing him from running for more than two consecutive terms. It appears a bid for him to handpick the new government and enact reforms that could weaken his future successor.
“President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday proposed a nationwide vote on sweeping constitutional changes that would shift power from the presidency to parliament and the prime minister, a move that could allow him to extend his rule after leaving the Kremlin,” Reuters comments.
Medvedev said the government resignation means Putin will decide the new government’s make-up, after which the now former prime minister appears to have been appointed head of the security council.
So despite it appearing that Putin is perhaps actually giving away power, it must be remembered that his presidential term doesn’t expire till 2024.
“In this context, it is obvious that, as the government, we must provide the president with a capability to make all decisions,” Medvedev said of Putin’s proposing several amendments to the constitution. Medvedev later told TASS that Putin’s proposals introduce “substantial changes not only to an entire range of articles of the constitution, but also to the entire balance of power, the power of the executive, the power of the legislature, the power of judiciary.”
The #Russian constitution gives enormous powers to the President allowing #Putin to almost enact whatever he would like. In the past when Putin term came up, he either extended the term limit of the presidency or stepped down and became PM while giving the PM role lots of power
— Strategic Sentinel (@StratSentinel) January 15, 2020
Russia’s RT is reporting the newly resigned ministers will act in a ‘caretaker’ capacity:
Accepting the resignation,