Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has announced the resignation of the entire government following President Vladimir Putin’s proposed reforms.
Prime Minister Medvedev’s announcement of the mass resignation in the Russian government, which includes himself, follows Putin’s proposal of reforms that could extend his power beyond the end of his presidential term.
In response to the announcement, Putin thanked members of the government for their work but added that “not everything worked out.” He said that he would meet each cabinet member in the near future.
Prior to Medvedev’s announcement, Putin proposed constitutional amendments that would strengthen the powers of the prime minister and parliament at the expense of the presidency. This shift in power from the presidency to the parliament has long been speculated about in Russia.
Critics have suggested before that in order to retain control of the country at the end of his presidential term in 2024, Putin is considering becoming prime minister with extended powers.
In 2008, Putin traded places with the prime minister in order to circumvent the constitutional provision prohibiting the same person from serving two consecutive terms as president.
In a statement, the current prime minister indicated that the mass resignation was made to pave the way for Putin’s proposed reforms. According to Medvedev, Putin “outlined a number of fundamental changes to the constitution, significant changes not only to a number of articles of the constitution, but also to the balance of power as a whole.”
Medvedev added: “In this context, it’s obvious that we, as the government … should provide the president of our country with the opportunity to make all the decisions necessary for this. And in these conditions, I believe that it would be right, in accordance with Section 117 of the constitution.”
Federal Taxation Service head Mikhail Mishustin has been nominated by Putin to replace Medvedev as prime minister.